Director: Bong Joon-Ho
Is it a black comedy? Is it a thriller? Is it a modern parable?
All of these, and none of these.
If there is one criticism – and it’s the only one – it’s a movie that never quite knows what it wants to be, and it answers all three of those questions above, moving between them easily. And honestly, a little too easily for me to be able to know what tone the film is setting. How much of that is language and a culture gap (subtitles, in Korean) I’ll never know.
But the positives…God, such a good movie. The juxtaposition of music and light in the house is just beautiful. Absolutely tone perfect in a way that few movies have been. The DP, Hong Kyung Pyo, should be Oscar-worthy for this. He can saturate the picture when he needs to and render darkness starkly equally as well.
The plot meanders a tad. But Sharon and I, walking away, discussed it a lot, especially the question of who is the parasite. And it was satisfying to come up with so many different answers, and so many reasons why. All our arguments stood up, and I think with an ambiguous movie, that’s a good thing.
No trite ending, which was excellent and a trap well avoided.
It’s difficult to truly assess the acting of performers who aren’t speaking a language I understand. I can, for example, get a rounded appraisal of French films because I’m near-fluent. Korean…not so much. That said, I was impressed by every one. Body language matched subtitles flawlessly to the point that reading the subtitles and watching the actors felt very fluid and organic. In a number of great performances, I will call out Song Kang-ho, who plays the father. He’s a man who can act in the millimeters of the face.
It’s the best thing I’ve seen in years.
Might appeal to people who enjoyed:
I’m not sure. Cinephiles generally I think