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Old 01-20-2020, 04:13 PM
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Parasite - great movie or no? (SPOILERS WELCOME)


Just saw this the other day (we try to see most of the Oscar contenders.) I was surprised that there was no thread on this - mainly because it impresses me as so different from what is usually nominated for best pic.

I am very glad I watched it, but I'm not sure how "great" a film I think it is. Would appreciate other proples' opinions.

Maybe they could have a special category for Parasite and Once Upon a Time, for goriest climax! I sure didn't see that coming!

I really liked the way it changed at different points - from the comic beginning of them infiltrating the family, to the discover in the basement, then to the gore.

I had a few minor problems with some of the plot parts being especially over-the-top. The scene where they got drunk in the living room struck me as especially un-calculating for a very calculating family. Then that 3 of them would've been un-noticed under the table? And that the basement - with the apparent "faulty wiring" would go unnoticed.

But overall, very interesting and entertaining. Might benefit from a second viewing.
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Old 01-20-2020, 04:17 PM
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It was very entertaining. Not necessarily best picture, but I enjoyed it. I've seen all the best picture nominees with the exception of Little Women and The Marriage Story. As of now, I'd vote for 1917.

Last edited by Omar Little; 01-20-2020 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 01-20-2020, 04:36 PM
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If I made a Top Ten of 2019 list I would have it on there, somewhere in the back half. It's a social satire and a dark fable, so it's not the kind of film where questionable plot elements took me out of it.
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Old 01-20-2020, 04:40 PM
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My take from last year:

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Originally Posted by peccavi View Post
Parasite, directed by Bong Joon-ho, who also directed Okja, Snowpiercer, and the off-kilter, fantastic Mother.

It's Shoplifters (which I felt should have won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film last year if justice had been served and Roma had won Best Picture) darkened and passed through a filter of class warfare in a society of polarized wealth and class. A brilliant film, with some superb acting, but this director is not to everyone's taste.

A highly recommended movie, one that will compete for this year's Best Foreign Film (it's already won the Cannes Palm d'Or - the first unanimous winner in more than 5 years). But just as I would not recommend a great sushi place to my friends that are not adventurous eaters, I would not recommend it to filmgoers that are not adventurous.
On reflection, it is definitely in my top 5 for 2019 and I would not be outraged if it won Best Picture.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:16 PM
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I wasn't bored and it had a lot of interesting original elements in it, but for me it ultimately did not work.

It begins as an almost Monty-Pythonesque farce, and it's cute and entertaining in that form up until the previous housekeeper reappears ringing the doorbell. At that point it morphs into something much darker. Which, I should hasten to add, isn't intrinsically a problem (I love that about Miracle Mile for instance). But the dark half of the movie is awkward and confusing. Even given that yeah, the Kims don't belong in the rich folks' house and it would be a problem for them to be encountered there by the Parks, it doesn't parse for me that they'd go out into that Noah's-ark deluge, not after having already descended into outright violence towards Geun and Moon. What I was expecting them to do is decide to simply install themselves as the rightful owners, since an earlier scene had Ms Kim providing them with the deed to the house and other identity-confirming information as part of their ongoing scam. But OK, so they decide they should make themselves scarce, as opposed to (let's say) whacking the Parks over the head and putting them also down into the basement. It's not unreasonable. But what is unreasonable is going out into that deluge. Anyone could see long in advance that the place they had previously called home wasn't going to be habitable, assuming they could even get to it.

Where the wheels fall off is at the party where Geun stabs Ki-jong (it's understandable that he would do that) and then Kim responds by stabbing the relatively uninvolved Mr Park ?!?!??

I've watched some review / "ending explained" videos on YouTube and the dominant theory is that this is class warfare, the proletarian Mr. Kim striking down Mr. Park. That doesn't really track for me. The Kim family's class consciousness is nil. They didn't band with Geun and Moon and, in fact, kill Moon. They had also previously stolen her job and the job of the chauffeur, other working class folks. And the rich Parks were not portrayed as conniving evil oppressor-monsters but as people just as involuntarily defined by their class and experience as the Kims were. I could see Mr. Kim killing Mr. Park if doing so saved their asses or otherwise served a utilitarian purpose, but not as a revolutionary act and also not as a sudden explosion of class-related fury. The Kims have been pissed on perpetually and have adapted by becoming cunning opportunists, not by pitching homicidal temper tantrums.

In the long run the movie suffers from the same weakness that Jojo Rabbit also suffers from: it's not easy to meld a farce with gritty dark reality and when you don't do it effectively you get a cute little Pokemon fluffball of a movie with its cartoon guts dragging on the ground and botflies in its sparkly eyes, and it's neither cute nor angsty, just awkward.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:42 PM
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I think it is absolutely deserving of best picture. The acting was excellent, the directing was superb, I was completely engrossed throughout, and it made me think long after it finished.

I disagree with AHunter3 on pretty much every point. It made perfect sense they'd go home after the midnight party - where else would they go? They have no money, no friend's place to crash at. Installing themselves as the legal owners requires knowledge of the legal system they just don't have. Their apartment, with everything they had in the world, was being flooded - of course they would try to rescue anything they could.

Class warfare doesn't mean all the poor join forces and fight the rich; the poor are pitted against each other by the rich. It's much easier to climb over a fellow poor person than to bring down a rich person. Mr. Kim stabs Mr. Park because his anger finally boils over - there's another reminder that Mr. Park thinks they all smell bad, and Mr. Kim sees Mr. Park as a rich person who lives unscathed while the poor kill each other. But it isn't a victory of poor over rich - in the aftermath, he's still where he always was, living like a parasite off the rich.

I feel like the movie worked on every level - as a story that entertained me from start to finish, as a satire, and as a fable or allegory. And it's one of the few movies I've seen recently where I truly didn't know what to expect next.
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Old 01-21-2020, 07:56 AM
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Torespond to a couple of AHunter's points, it didn't surprise me at all that the family fled into the rain. After having been caught, I can imagine nothing being in their minds other than getting out of there. And once they got out, where to go other than their home. I - for one - did not realize the apt would be flooded until they turned into the flooded street. I admit I found the topography confusing. Didn't realize how much higher up the rich house was than their apt.

I had more problem with their leaving all the detritus under the table.

I also thought there would be some role reversal, with the grifters ending up running the house, and the rich family ending up as their servants.

My biggest break with belief was when they let the old housekeeper in. I woulda thought a family of crooks woulda known nothing good could have come from that. And I didn't understand why they felt they owed her anything.

And the driver stabbing the dad didn't seem too off to me. For some time, the driver had been reacting to the dad's repeated comments about how they smelled. And the dad's comments when they were in the garden, seemed to further irritate him. Just was enough to suggest some resentment was simmering.
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Old 01-21-2020, 12:34 PM
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It was good. Not best picture, good. I had to suspend disbelief that an up to then family too lazy and incompetent to put together a profitable scam managed to land the perfect scam and keep up the pretense almost long enough for it to work. The flood scene was one of the most memorable of the entire film. It was pretty haunting.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:32 PM
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Just saw this a few hours ago. I thought it was one of the best-written and best-directed films I'd seen in the last few years. It isn't formulaic. Hell, it isn't even a genre. It's 3-5 genres. Having read nothing about the film beforehand, I was delighted at the slow burn at the beginning before the family's true colors were revealed.

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Originally Posted by TroutMan View Post
Mr. Kim stabs Mr. Park because his anger finally boils over - there's another reminder that Mr. Park thinks they all smell bad, and Mr. Kim sees Mr. Park as a rich person who lives unscathed while the poor kill each other.
I want to address this one point. Both of my kids are South Korean-born adoptees. I've got an ex-sister in law who is South Korean. Have spent some time there teaching. What I am about to write is first-hand info from South Koreans and is not an assumption on the part of my White Western European brain.

There is an extremely hightened awareness of how one smells. The self-consciousness apparently is felt most keenly around non-Koreans but judging someone partially by how they smell is a thing. I am told that this is a result of the garlic- and chili-heavy diet.

Similarly, smelling and identifying Mr. Kim and the others by their unique scent doesn't surprise me. Nor does the violent response. Seemed to me that Mr. Kim's rage had more to do with that quick shot of Mr. Park sniffing than it did with the fact that Mr. Park was unscathed by the violence.

IIRC, the boy noticed it before anyone else in that scene in the kitchen.

Considering how terribly upper-crust that family was, the idea of a deeply buried sub-basement is entirely plausible to me. Why would they even imagine that there might be something lower down than the basement? The explanation provided is valid. The throw-away comment about building the shelter to hide from credit collectors? Quite believable.

I want to see it again in the next few weeks.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:31 PM
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I have seen all the Best Picture nominees and rank Parasite number 1 in the group.

Not that I think it will win.


mmm
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:13 PM
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I though the fist half of the movie was interesting and loved to see how the poor family ingratiated themselves with the rich. The montage portion with the Mercedes and when they were rehearsing the TB conversation was really cool.

Then the second half of the movie happened an it was...meh.

The housekeeper, and the dude living in the basement was way out of left field and it was such a completely different movie that it took me out of my enjoyment of the first. I'm glad I saw, but I would hesitate to recommend a casual moviegoer to see it.
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:41 AM
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And Parasite wins!
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Old 02-10-2020, 01:32 AM
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I liked it a lot while being ambivalent about its final direction. The first half was as delightful a caper film as I have seen. I would probably have preferred the film continue in the same vein. The second half is a very dark and violent class warfare fable which was gripping in the moment but at the end was just too lurid and outlandish for my taste.
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Old 02-10-2020, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
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Not that I think it will win.

Apparently Bong Joon-ho agreed with you. After the best screenplay win, he was thankful. After the best foreign feature film win, he was more thankful and happy to go party the rest of the evening. After the best director win, he was nearly speechless and gob-smacked of his win over his idols and mentors, Scorcese and Tarantino. After the best picture win, he didn't even speak.
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Old 02-10-2020, 05:37 PM
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I ranked it 5th best of the year 2019, though that was at the end of December and as things settle, I would move it up to 4th or 3rd best.

I think The Nightingale was a better movie and stunningly forgotten by many. It actually had a 2018 screening or two, but was 2019 internationally released.

Superior to all the Best Picture nominees this year and honestly, a haunting and amazing movie from Jennifer Kent.

Now I am off topic. Parasite was great, the best of the nominated movies, but it wasn't the best movie from 2019 I've seen.
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Old 02-11-2020, 08:32 AM
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It was certainly highly entertaining. It kept me hooked, and I enjoyed it. It's a movie that will be difficult to forget.

But the shift from laugh-out-loud comedy to the dark and violent last part didn't work for me.
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Old 02-11-2020, 05:09 PM
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My opinion: A good movie, beautifully executed, but vastly overrated.
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Old 02-11-2020, 05:27 PM
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My opinion: A good movie, beautifully executed, but vastly overrated.
I did not like the ending moments where they killed a bunch of people. I was 100% on board with the movie up to that point, but I hated that.

I did, however, like the part where the son writes about "some day" coming to get his Dad. It's quite clear he will never achieve all those dreams and his Father will have to live down there until he dies.

Still, that psycho twist at the party did not work for me.
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Old 02-11-2020, 05:30 PM
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I found it a fun ride and at least as good as some Best Pictures I've seen, but I didn't feel it was the Best Picture of this year. But hey, at least it's not Gladiator or Crash.
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Old 02-11-2020, 05:38 PM
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I found it a fun ride and at least as good as some Best Pictures I've seen, but I didn't feel it was the Best Picture of this year. But hey, at least it's not Gladiator or Crash.
What was your best picture of the year?

I'd say The Nightingale was better than this.
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Old 02-11-2020, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
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What was your best picture of the year?
Considering that I only saw half the nominees, my choice would have been Once Upon a Time ... In Hollywood.

My actual expectation had been that 1917, which I have not yet seen, would win.
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