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#TIFF19 Review: Parasite (Special Presentations)

September 15, 2019

By John Corrado

★★★★ (out of 4)

Director Bong Joon-ho’s first film in Korean following his two English-language movies Snowpiercer and Okja, Parasite made history earlier this year when it took home the coveted Palme d’Or at Cannes, becoming the first film from South Korea to win the award. And now that I’ve seen the film, I can say that it deserved the award, and I’m in awe that the Palme even went to such a weird and wild film.

Without giving too much away, the film follows an impoverished family – father Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho), mother Chung-sook (Change Hyae-jin), and their young adult son Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) and daughter Ki-jung (Park So-dam) – who live together in a cramped basement apartment, doing whatever jobs they can to earn money. Through a series of circumstances, their lives end up intertwined with the rich Park family, who reside in a glorious mansion.

I don’t want to say any more about the plot of Parasite, because that would ruin the entirely unique experience of seeing it for yourself. Functioning as a fascinating study of how society’s underclass is held down by those at the top, either actively or passively, Bong Joon-ho has crafted a genre-bending film that keeps inverting and going in surprising new directions, as it oscillates seamlessly between dark comedy, drama, suspense thriller and horror. Gripping to watch throughout every one of its surprising moments, Parasite is a wild ride. See it knowing as little about the plot as possible.

Public Screenings:

Friday, September 6th – 8:30 PM at Ryerson Theatre

Saturday, September 7th – 1:45 PM at Scotiabank Theatre

Wednesday, September 11th – 9:15 PM at Scotiabank Theatre

Friday, September 13th – 9:15 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox 1

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