I’m just gonna come right out and say this is so far my favorite screenplay of the year. Maybe not favorite film (I enjoyed The Farewell a bit more and we can’t forget the juggernaut that is Endgame) but it will absolutely be ranked high on my year end top ten. This Palm D’or winner might also be in line for other major awards.
In this offering from South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho (mainstream audiences might know him from Okja or Snowpiecer, but apparently he’s got some great films before those that I’ll need to investigate) a financially struggling family cons their way into being employed by a rich family. Then stuff goes down that I’d rather not talk about because the unexpected twists and turns were part of what made this movie so great.
The reason I love this screenplay so much is that it’s so many things. It’s really funny in a messed up bonkers sort of way. But it’s also a thriller with such insanely dark and tense sequences. And on top of all that, it’s a rather poignant social commentary about class and socio economic status. All of this all at the same time, all completely unexpected, and all entirely genius.
I hesitate to say too much because I think my experience was better for not knowing much going in. One thing I do find interesting though is the situation this family conned their way into. Normally when you think of con artists, you think of someone who is dishonest and trying to make a quick buck and move on. These people use trickery to work their way into the role they want, but then they’re actually doing work. You kinda can’t fake being a good driver or housekeeper, and they’re not trying to get rich. They’re trying to earn a living wage. It’s a fascinating concept, and it makes me hesitant to call them con artists. This is ultimately a statement about how difficult it can be to work your way up in this world.
I’m not sure how wide this film will be opening (although the more the Oscar buzz builds, the wider it’s likely to go) but it’s absolutely worth seeking out. Seriously, one of the best things I’ve seen this year
Parasite – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/