(South Korea - 2019)
Directed by Bong Joon Ho. Written by Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Wan. Cast: Song Kang Ho, Lee Sun Kyun, Cho Yeo Jeong, Choi Woo Shik, Park So Dam, Chang Hyae Jin, Park Seo Joon, Jung Ziso, Jung Hyun Jun, Lee Jung Eun, Park Myung Hoon, Park Geun Rok, Jung Yi Seo. (R, 132 mins)
"You know what kind of plan never fails? No plan. With no plan, nothing can go wrong."
The latest film from South Korean auteur Bong Joon Ho (THE HOST, SNOWPIERCER, OKJA), the dazzling PARASITE deservedly won the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Alternately funny, dramatic, tragic, and nail-bitingly suspenseful, it continues Bong's recurring themes of class conflict and economic and social disparity, with enough shades of gray that it never becomes the kind of misanthropic, spleen-venting screed that a less-nuanced filmmaker (or the inevitable US remake) would create. Resourceful Kim Ki-woo (Choi Woo Shik) has the smarts to go to college but it's out of the question: his broke, lower-class family--dad Ki-taek (Bong regular Song Kang Ho), mom Chung-sook (Chang Hyae Jin), and adult sister Ki-jung (Park So Dam)--live in a crummy, stinkbug-and-cockroach infested basement apartment at the end of an alley in the slums of Seoul. The only window offers a view of a dumpster that a local drunk uses as a toilet, and they have to crouch on a raised platform in the bathroom to steal wi-fi from the restaurant above. What little income they have comes from pre-folding boxes for a nearby pizza joint, and even that doesn't work out because Ki-taek's sloppy workmanship gets their pay docked, but they still have enough to get their phones turned back on for another month.