Desperate times, desperate measures

PARASITE (15) 132 minutes

So, let’s see what all the fuss is about, shall we?

After breaking all sorts of records – starting with the Palme d’Or (The first South Korean film ever to win the accolade) at Cannes in May, culminating in becoming the first ever foreign language film to scoop the best picture Oscar – when presented with the choice of this dark comedy thriller or Sonic The Hedgehog, well it was no choice at all really.

But what I wanted to ascertain was whether the darling of this awards season is all it’s cracked up to be or if it’s just the lucky recipient of an exercise in box ticking by an industry rife with criticism over a lack of diversity.

A penniless family reduced to folding pizza boxes for a pittance and using other people’s wifi enjoy a change of fortunes as one by one they ingratiate themselves into the lives of a wealthy family as daughter’s English tutor, son’s art therapist, chauffeur and finally housekeeper after orchestrating the dismissal of the previous long term holder of that position.

But things soon begin to unravel.

Director and co-writer Bong Joon-ho manages to turn what first appears to be a comic portrayal of a poor family who, for all their subterfuge, are not really doing any great harm to anyone apart from the usurped driver and housekeeper, of course, into a rumination on just how far desperation will drive you in a dog eat dog world (absolutely no pun intended, I swear).

Parasite is a cracking little film, if a bit on the long side, with one magical impersonation of a North Korean news announcer which is hardly going to help relations between the two neighbours.

But is it really the best film of the year?

I would have to say no. For me that goes to Joker.

RATING 7/10

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]