“Parasite” (“Gisaengchung”) is a resounding and often vicious dark comedy-thriller from South Korea, starring Song Kang Ho as Kim Ki-Taek, matriarch of a family of hustlers subsisting at the bottom rungs of Seoul’s socio-economic hierarchy.
Residing alongside his wife Chung-sook (Hye-jin Jang), son Ki-woo (Woo-sik Choi) and daughter Ki-jeong (So-dam Park) in an underground hovel, Ki-Taek is encouraged by a promising opportunity for young Ki-woo to masquerade as a student and replace his friend as English tutor for the wealthy Park family. Ki-woo pursues and acquires the position before beginning to draw his family members into the Park’s home one-by-one, each impersonating skilled professionals while concealing their relations to one another. Their elaborate ruse comes together seamlessly, though they remain woefully unaware of far more insidious truths harbored by outgoing housekeeper Moon-gwang (Jeong-eun Lee).
Written and directed by acclaimed South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho (“The Host”, “Snowpiercer”), “Parasite” is a wildly transgressive depiction of deceit and class warfare, imbued with remarkable playfulness, intrigue and supreme shock value. Winner of multiple academy awards including Best Picture and Best International Film, it’s an entirely unique tale of social conflict and a supremely assured modern masterpiece.
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