“If I had all this, I would be kinder.”Chung-sook
At his core, Bong Joon Ho tells dark fables, whether they are original stories like Okja or visually arresting adaptations like Snowpiercer. Parasite may have a more realistic setting but its contrivances develop with the sense of otherworldly allegory and stark contrasts that imbue Jordan Peele’s films, from the sun-filled spacious architecture of the affluent Parks’ house to the Kims’ cramped basement home. Tone is vital to this kind of social satire. Initially Parasite is a light-hearted con as an out-of-work family gradually grift their way into the employ of a wealthy one. A middle sequence in which one family hides from another in a house is reminiscent of Kim Ki-duk’s 3-Iron, with absurd comedy underpinned by violent stakes. This shift becomes increasingly dark and out-of-control as greed, expectation and resentment bubble to the surface. Parasite nails its pacing, feeling briefer than its running time of over two hours; this, coupled with its wonderful cinematography and accessible, highly relevant class satire, has secured its international acclaim.