Parasite. Last years run away success. Critically praised. Award baiting and winning. Directed by Bong Joon-Ho, a serious heavyweight in Korean cinema. Literally this alone would make the film almost impossible to ignore. Millions didn’t. They flocked to see it. The flocked to see the Kim family. They live in a small semi basement (banjiha in Korean). Father Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho), mother Chung-sook (Jang Hye-jin), daughter Ki-jung (Park So-dam) and son Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik). Trapped in a hole, they get a lifeline via an emigrating friend of the family. The chance to work at a rich families house,  that being the Park family.

And so the critics and movie goers adulated and adored PARASITE. They revealed in its glow. In the class struggle, as the Kim family climb the ladder. Each being employed into the house of the rich Park’s. Though the one never knowing that they are all the other. This potent social commentary, with its probing criticism of the elite, is nectar to the cineaste. But now on Blu Ray, can we maybe get to grips with it a new? Prehaps it doesn’t hold up as before?

The truth is that it does. A blackly comic affair, PARASITE pulls no punches and lands almost everyone thrown. From its comments on the indispensability of servants and this as an asset. To the use and abuse of money for frivolity. The demands of an elite to simply grant the children they neglect, everything they desire (or demand) and how manipulation of the mind is as much a rich thing as a poor thing.  Contrast and compare. Similarity breeds contempt. Some even adored the cinema of it all. How the visual space demanded us to see this. The mise en scene, the use of space, light tones, depth of vision and yes, even that lovely use of water to reflect…well so much and so little at the same time. The world of PARASITE was a moral maze. It was also stunning. If I had to fault it? Well I would say that Hoon-Jo has been more reflective on Korean history in earlier works, but he has never been as pointed on its social structure. Astonishing.


The special edition is lacking in a few things. One is special items. The best extra on the set (bar that great steelbox is the BLACK and WHITE version. Yep. That is it…

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