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Tim's review of Parasite


Grade: B

Category: Just a movie


Parasite is the story of an impoverished family (mother, father, son, daughter) in Korea. Struggling to find jobs and living in a basement apartment, they make do the best they can. A friend of the son's connects him with a job to tutor the daughter of a well-to-do family. Using their skills of conning, the entire family ends up being employed by the well-to-do family. The well-to-do’s previous housekeeper, who was cunningly fired to hire the mother, comes back and reveals secrets and treachery. Chaos and suspense ensues during the well-to-do's son's birthday party.


The movie is beautiful to watch. The acting is great, the locations are fitting for the story, and I was enthralled the entire movie.


The story is wonderfully crafted and compelling. A great mix of comedy, drama, suspense, lots of suspense, character development, and an amazing job of showing and not telling development of the story and characters.


I loved all the characters in this movie. Their motivation, actions, and words all made sense and maintained a great pace moving the story forward. I cared about what was going on, rarely pulled out of the movie. Well, occasionally by the rude couple next to me that refused to use the cupholder between them and her frequent fumbling on our shared armrest for her candy. But that was a passive aggressive game that probably was exclusive to my nearly sold-out screening.


I walked out of this movie loving it. It was wonderful. There were times the dialog and subtitles were happening so fast I couldn't always watch the action, but that is my problem and would probably change on repeated viewing.


But I felt some sand in my underwear about the movie and couldn't put my finger on it. I decided to sleep on it and see what some processing time would reveal.


The next morning, some of the sand was resolved. The story is multilayered, a variety of characters, and a story that moves forward based on the personalities and skills of the main family of four with unexpected twists.


And that is where the sand was, it was too well composed. I applaud the writers and director for building such a wonderful story and showing not telling, but in hindsight, it was too well done.


Inorganic. That's the word. It's a great story, well executed, but it somehow feels inorganic. It has the aftertaste of a fake sweetener. Satisfying at the time, but leaves an odd aftertaste which you question a few hours later.


It's a great movie experience. The action, story, and characters work seamlessly, but in the end, for me, too seamlessly. I understand it seems odd to fault a movie for being too well written and acted, but I still have the lingering inorganic feeling when I think back on this movie. And I’m left to wonder what, if anything, they could have done to gloss over the perfection more for me to not see the film making that went into this movie.

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