Fifth about The Seventh

Parasite (Gisaengchung)

Parasite: Bong Joon-ho crams a lot into this film: it is a sort of upstairs-downstairs drama set in present-day Korea; a social commentary; a black comedy; a (pair of) familial dramas; a thriller. It may sound Bong is trying to do too much, but he succeeds in all tries and makes a very entertaining and touching film to boot. That mix of genres and intents means that one never knows where the story is heading next. The cast is in fine, very fine shape: Song Kang-ho (who is nearly brilliant in his creation), Choi Woo-sik, Jang Hye-jin, and Park So-dam deal convincingly with the duplicity of their characters; Lee Sun-kyun projects the easy-going arrogance his character calls for; Jo Yeo-jeong, the obliviousness of hers. The two main locations, the wildly different houses of each family, are beautifully created (by production designer Lee Ha-jun) and convey the proper symbolism. The pace is great, as editor Yang Jin-mo quickly introduces the set-up and ramps up the stakes. It matches well the precise and intricate nature of cinematographer Hong Kyung-pyo’s camerawork.

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