The Closet Conservative
The movie world has done it again. All be it from South Korea, and not the United States. All the same lemmings that comprise the movie reviewing community have jumped on board the band wagon of having a slobbering love affair with the movie, Parasite. Parasite is charming, observant, funny, cute, wise, slick, and very well made….. for the first 90 minutes. The final 20 minutes the movie takes a dark turn that eliminates every ounce of goodwill it gained before. What comes out then is a sick and disturbed mind of a filmmaker who has Marxist roots that guide the moral compass of the script decisions he makes to turn his one time sympathetic protagonists, into evil monsters. All the while doing so by playing on our emotions, thus giving a rational to their actions. I’m not sure what I was more as the end credits rolled; more disturbed, or more angry. Angry at the filmmakers for turning our beloved, charming two-bit street con artists, into murderous lunatics. Top that off with a little three-minute idiotic fantasy side story, that is supposed to give us closure and sympathy for the evil acts we’ve just witnessed.
Parasite is entirely in Korean, with English subtitles, and it was a bit of a chore to keep up with it. It’s dialogue heavy, and I spent a great deal of time reading, and RE-READING the subtitles many times, to try and understand what the characters were saying. The movie is a bit of Oliver Twist in South Korea. A nuclear family of con artists, living on the lower side of a seedy street in a major city. (If the city was mentioned, I don’t remember)
Through a connection of a family friend, the college age son is hired to teach English to a high school daughter of a well off family. One by one, each of the other members of this con-artist family are employed by this same rich, socialite family, all through scenes that are at times creative and funny, and at others, sad, cruel, and lucky. It’s a family that you root for at times, and others are along for the ride, not entirely sympathetic. The movie is very slick, and quite creative in it’s photography and character development. These characters are flawed people, with a street savvy that in the real world probably would have allowed them to succeed on the up and up, legitimately. However, in this ‘the rich are bad’ scenario, our less than fortunate protagonists are the ‘good’ guys, even if they are law breaking, lying, selfish, thieves. (and that’s only the beginning… what happens in the end, totally jumps ship on where this story begins and appears to be heading)
This movie received 99% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. One of the two bad reviews was given by Armond White of National Review. He goes into much more detail of this movies motives and mind sets, and I encourage you to read it.
Armond, myself and one other movie reviewer are giving in a thumbs down. The other 252 movie reviewers loved it… Take that for what it’s worth.