The following commentary relies on two things:
1. You have seen Parasite. There are massive spoilers.
2. You may need to read this Guardian Review before proceeding. (Actually, you can probably skip the review since I blockquote the sections I was most allergic to. You decide.)
I realize that movie reviews are ultimately a matter of taste, and that everyone approaches a movie with the experiential filters and knowledge they possess in advance. There aren’t “right” or “wrong” reviews, but there are certainly informed and uninformed. Ignorance is not a flaw, unless one willfully retains it.
I would suggest that this person completely misses the import and intent of this movie, mostly out of ignorance.
Kind of in the same way a Trump voter misreads a Bernie Sanders campaign rally. “I wuz thar! I heard him say he wants to Socialist Gut Amerika and force me to accept lesbian troops in my house.”
Well… maybe not that badly misread. Quotes from the review, followed by my hyperbolic retorts. 🙂 I know… who asked? <mega spoilers.>
“Stop the story here and the film being heralded as a critique of capitalism is more about the dangers of trusting the working class.”
Right… stop “Moby Dick” after “Call me Ishmael” and it’s a story about a narcissistic person with an archaic name, rather than a deep allegory about human obsessions and homosexual love.
“…the Parks are generous in addition to being oblivious. Yeon-gyo (Cho Yeo-jeong) – mother of the Park family – offers higher rates for Ki-woo, compensates Ki-jung for attending a birthday party and pays Ki-taek overtime for working on a Sunday. Even if Dahye’s affections are superficially juvenile, both the Park children seem to genuinely like Ki-woo and “Jessica”.”
Could a key message be more poorly interpreted? The Parks, oblivious to their total dependence on the Kims, use cash to ignore their relation to (reliance on) the poor.
They essentially assert unilateral right to do anything they please because they are giving money. That doesn’t make them “generous.” It makes them blindly entitled.
Remember Chung Sook’s commentary during the drunken party. “Money is an iron. The rich have no wrinkles. They are not rich because they are nice, they are only nice because they are rich.” The Parks are oblivious of their role in the system, as much as the Kims are oblivious of their role, and as much as the basement dweller is oblivious of his role, and as much as the Parks are oblivious of that dark, secret bunker representing Korea’s past and its influence on their present day lives.
The insidiously oblivious recapitulate patterns and structures.
“Here’s the twist: the director clearly wants you to like the Kims.”
Again… stop Moby Dick Early and write, “Melville clearly wants you to think the Whale is an asshole.” No. One cannot judge the director’s intent at the mid-point, only in the complete context. Parasite’s full context leaves NO ONE looking good. It only shows all components of the societal organism fatalistically trapped in a symbiotic cycle that repeats itself generation after generation. A mutual dependency fueled by denial of root causes, and nourished by the past that fertilizes and virtually ensures the cycle will reproduce itself, before you’re capable of detecting the cycle. Then, it’s too late.
“If Bong’s 2013 film Snowpiercer makes it obvious that capitalism allows the powerful to puppet the powerless, Parasites does not do enough to drive its message home.”
My translation, “I like didactic sledgehammer morals in my movies, and no open-ended, morally ambivalent/ambiguous, difficult allegories. Parasite fails by not being obvious enough, and asking me to do deep, intense work. I like my oatmeal mushy.” Please!
“Without examining the system that has created the Kims and the Parks, the film’s message is reduced to this: commiserate with the working class “
Dunning-Kruger meets movie reviewer.
Point. Totally. Missed.
Without understanding, seeing, or comprehending all of the ways that this movie examines the system, you might end up writing a vapid review like this one appearing in the Guardian.
I’ve written some 7,000 words (not that quantity necessarily speaks to quality) analyzing this movie, its systemic indictments, its moral leveling of ALL players, its Jungian shadow theory commentary, and its meditation on the relative merits of approaching life via planning vs. chaotic drifting. ( look back for a series of Parasite related posts.)
This reviewer, like the Park wife is…uh.. how you say… very… “Simple?”
“Bong himself glides between describing the film as an allegory and insisting he does not have an agenda.”
Oh, FFS! Allegory and agenda aren’t synonyms, nor are they mutually exclusive!!
I’m out. See the movie. If you haven’t, but you got to here… why? Why would you spoil a movie experience for yourself when you were warned?