Bong Joon-ho rightfully won the Palme d’Or when Parasite screened at Cannes this year, as it was every bit as engaging and thoughtful as I was told to believe it was. Ideologically, it is about class systems and how the poor can be driven to rage just in an attempt to survive inequality. Interestingly, it takes a more sympathetic look at the idle rich – the wealthy are mostly kind-hearted, if isolated and with their own prejudices. But in practice, Parasite is a tragicomedy that doesn’t succumb to the weepiness present in typical Korean cinema. There are some good belly laughs that make the viewer wonder if the ominous poster you saw on the way into the theatre was all that relevant. It starts out as a darkly funny slice of life about a chronically unemployed family scamming their way into the lives of a local rich family Ocean’s Eleven-style, but there is a distinct turning point in the movie that takes the jokey We Live In a Society criticism and twists the knife. And then stabs you with it again. It is predictable in the best way – you can pick up the foreshadowing from a mile away, but to see the plot strands come together is simultaneously horrifying and has you realising you’re seeing one of the best movies of the year. The ending will not have you crying, but Parasite will have you thinking: Maybe Society Could Be Better? Why? Because We Live In One.
10/10: We Live In a Society