Home Parasite

Parasite (15)

Cast: Jo Yeo-jeong, Lee Sun-kyun, Song Kang-ho
Genre: Thriller
Author(s): Han Jin-won, Bong Joon-ho
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Release Date: 07/02/2020 (selected cinemas)
Running Time: 132mins
Country: S Korea
Year: 2019

Wily patriarch Kim Ki-tek presides over a family of con artists, including his sharp-tongued wife Chung-sook, mild-mannered son Ki-woo and daughter Ki-jung. Good fortune smiles on Ki-woo when good friend Min-hyuk recommends him as an English tutor for teenager Park Da-hae. Ki-woo falsifies his qualifications to impress Da-hae's wealthy mother Yon-kyo and father Dong-ik. Once he has earned the couple's misplaced trust, Ki-woo recommends the rest of the family under false pretences.


 

LondonNet Film Review
Parasite (15)

Writer-director Bong Joon-ho mines a mother lode of deliciously cruel intentions in his wickedly entertaining, genre-bending satire, which is certain to convert some of its six Oscar nominations into golden statuettes. Careening wildly from slapstick and scabrous social commentary to full-blooded horror, Parasite gleefully inhabits the cavernous divide between South Korea’s haves and have-nots. The script, co-written by Han Jin-won, lulls us into a false sense of security with a gently paced yet engrossing opening hour before Joon-ho tightens the screws on his desperate characters, setting in motion a jaw-dropping second act that leaves our nerves in tatters…

The film-maker dissipates tension with staccato bursts of ghoulish humour but each belly laugh is soaked with bile – primal screams of despair at a world that repeatedly kicks the poor and disenfranchised when they are down. “Money is an iron” notes a mother on the wrong side of the class divide, who asserts that wealth smooths out life’s creases and would undoubtedly sweeten her malodorous disposition. With Joon-ho at the helm, any barbs are positioned with surgical precision to draw spurts of blood as the besieged protagonists stagger forlornly towards the brink of self-destruction.

Wily patriarch Kim Ki-tek (Song Kang-ho) presides over a family of con artists, including his sharp-tongued wife Chung-sook (Chang Hyae-jin), mild-mannered son Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) and daughter Ki-jung (Park So-dam). They live in a squalid basement apartment in a poor neighbourhood of Seoul with a prime view of drunken passers-by urinating in the street. The resourceful clan exploit free Wi-Fi to secure thankless jobs such as folding cardboard pizza delivery boxes. It’s an unedifying hand-to-mouth existence.

Good fortune smiles unexpectedly on Ki-woo when good friend Min-hyuk (Park Seo-joon) recommends him as an English tutor for teenager Park Da-hae (Jeong Ji-so). Ki-woo falsifies his qualifications to impress Da-hae’s wealthy mother Yon-kyo (Cho Yeo-jeong) and father Dong-ik (Lee Sun-kyun). Once he has earned the couple’s misplaced trust, Ki-woo recommends a college friend called Jessica as an art therapist for Da-hae’s younger brother, Da-song (Jung Hyeon-jun). Sister Ki-jung arrives in the guise of Jessica and confidently passes off theories from the internet as her personal philosophy to unlock a child’s potential. Ki-tek and Chung-sook also seek positions under false pretences. However, the simmering suspicions of fashionable housekeeper Mun-kwang (Lee Jung-eun) threaten to expose the ingenious deception.

Parasite is a lip-smacking delight, which divides our sympathy as moral compasses are wilfully ignored in pursuit of happiness. The light, airy, modernist splendour of the Park family residence becomes increasingly claustrophobic as characters are enslaved to their materialistic desires. Joon-ho retains masterful control over every element including the abrupt changes of tone in a gob-smacking second hour that proves home is where the heartbreak is.

– Kim Hu

 


London Cinemas Showing Parasite


From: Friday 3rd July
To: Thursday 9th July

Everyman Hampstead

Sat 19:30; Mon 17:00; Thu 20:30

Genesis Cinema

Sat/Thu 15:20 20:35; Sun 20:30; Mon 14:50 17:50; Tue 20:20; Wed 21:00

From: Friday 10th July
To: Thursday 16th July

Everyman Hampstead

Sun 12:30; Mon 20:15

Odeon Greenwich

Mon-Thu 20:15

Odeon Luxe Haymarket

Thu 16:30 19:30

Odeon Wimbledon

Mon-Thu 20:15

UK and Irish Cinemas Showing Parasite


From: Friday 3rd July
To: Thursday 9th July

Everyman Barnet

Sat 16:30; Sun 20:00; Mon 15:45; Tue 20:30; Wed 17:45; Thu 16:45

Everyman Chelmsford

Sun 19:15; Wed 20:00

Everyman Esher

Sat 19:45; Mon 19:30

Everyman Gerrards Cross

Sat 19:30; Thu 19:20

Everyman Horsham

Sat 20:15; Mon 17:15

Odeon Epsom

Sat-Thu 20:30

Odeon Milton Keynes Stadium

Sat/Sun 19:30; Mon-Thu 19:45

Odeon Norwich

Sat/Sun/Wed 19:30

From: Friday 10th July
To: Thursday 16th July

Everyman Barnet

Sat 20:30; Wed 20:00

Everyman Chelmsford

Sat 21:00; Wed 20:10

Everyman Harrogate

Fri 19:15; Sun 18:45; Wed 21:00; Thu 17:30

Everyman Leeds

Fri 19:15; Sun 19:30; Thu 17:15

Everyman Oxted

Fri 19:15; Wed 20:00

Everyman Stratford-Upon-Avon

Fri 21:15; Wed 20:30

Odeon Bath

Thu 20:00

Odeon Kingston

Mon-Thu 20:45

Odeon Luxe Telford

Fri-Sun 20:00

Odeon Mansfield

Sat/Thu 20:00

Odeon Stoke

Thu 20:00

Odeon Taunton

Thu 20:00

Odeon Tunbridge Wells

Sat/Sun/Thu 20:00

Scott Cinemas

Fri-Sun 16:05; Tue-Thu 19:15

Scott Cinemas Bristol, Westbury Park

Fri 16:05; Sat/Sun 16:00; Tue-Thu 19:15