Monday With Mildred: “Parasite”

Enjoy this Monday with Mildred!

Parasite movie poster

Parasite

The Park family has everything. Dad makes boatloads of money, and his perfect family lives in a fancy, super expensive house. They need someone to tutor their gorgeous teenage daughter in English and end up hiring the Kim boy. He and his family live in a cramped basement where they can only piggyback wireless for their phones by perching on the toilet. They don’t know young Kim isn’t really a teacher, but is faking it. He has gotten past the Parks’ defenses, making it easier for him to invite others like him into the household, also under false pretenses.

I understood going in just from seeing the title that this movie would be a metaphor for parasitic infection, and while this is a finely crafted film in many dimensions, I have to say its strongest aspect is the metaphor. The parasite has a method. Once it has invaded a body it feeds off the vulnerable host, multiplies, creates systemic havoc leading to fever, and sickens the host. It has no idea it’s dangerous, it just does what comes naturally and moves on once the food source dries up.

The Kims only see their infiltration as a wonderful opportunity to better their life at the expense of the clueless but wealthy Parks. They’re really cynical about the whole thing, but you still feel some sympathy for them. I felt like the weakest part of the movie was the idea that they could waltz into this family’s life and be really good at every job they take over. If they’re this talented, why aren’t they out in the world working in regular, good jobs that would afford them a better life than the flood prone basement and a constant desperate feeling that things can go south in a second?

Beyond that problem in logic, Parasite is a super solid film. The screenplay is taut and nuanced, with the Kim fever building at a slow and relentless pace with a satisfying end. I won’t say what kind of ending beyond satisfying. You’ll remember it. The cinematography and lighting is first rate. None of the scenes were anything but perfectly framed and lit, even the ones in a very dark place. I’ve gotten really tired the last few years of watching movies that I can only hear when the action is in the dark. Since all of the actors did a first rate job as well, I have to say the director absolutely earned his Best Director Oscar.

I don’t really have a lot to say about Parasite because it’s simply a very fine movie without actually being simple. The more you think about it once it’s over the more you’ll be impressed with the whole package. We did have to go back to one scene again to get the choreography straight in our heads but on second viewing it was even better. Definitely watch this movie that managed to make me forget my prejudice about overrated Oscar winners.

LINKS: 

Parasite [Official Trailer] – In Theaters October 11, 2019

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