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TIFF 2019 Review: Parasite

An unemployed father, mother, daughter and son see an opportunity to make money by conning a wealthy family.

When a friend offers Ki-woo a job of tutoring English to a wealthy high school girl, he accepts the offer and goes about getting jobs for his sister, father and mother using false identities and pretences.  The good times for Ki-woo and his family are jeopardized upon the return of the former housekeeper which leads to matters taking on a Hitchcockian twist.

The entire cast are fiendishly clever in their performances even when situations go over the top while the imagery is luscious and seamless assembled together.  There are twists and turns that leads the audience on a roller coaster ride of suspense as well as shifting genres.  Initially, what can be taken as satirical comedy becomes a thriller with extremely dark overtones.

Filmmaker Bong Joon-ho is not subtle with his metaphor regarding the growing gap between rich and poor as well as political commentary as was the case with his previous movie Snowpiercer.  As the Bolsheviks overthrew and executed the Russian monarch, one has to think that Bong Joon-ho can only imagine the class struggle leading to a violent outcome.  There is a tendency to explain everything rather than have the audience fill in the narrative gaps.  The vicious conclusion is self-indulgent and exploitative in the vein of Quentin Tarantino, thereby, undermining an insightful and satirical study of human nature.

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Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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