This film has been making its rounds with international audiences the past year, and it's been gathering accolades and almost universal praise as it goes, most, if not all audiences deeming it a great film. Bong Joon-Ho has proven adept at making such thought-provoking, strange, and extremely relevant films come to life, and Parasite is one of his best and most solidly put-together offerings.
This film goes in unexpected directions, its genre indescribable with less than three words, but everything about it feels precise and intentional, with excellent writing, direction, and cinematography coming together to make a truly amazing film that even mainstream audiences would enjoy watching for the sheer, unprecedented madness and excitement of the story.
Most reviews have done well to keep spoilers out of their praise, but unfortunately, in order to really tackle what makes this film worth watching, this list will have a few spoilers within - even if it'll talk around the more important bits without revealing them.
10. The Symbolism
There's a ton of symbolism throughout the film, from the sub-basement's contrast to the mansion basement in terms of social standing to the scholar's rock gift at the start of the film, and to count all significant visual story cues would warrant its own list.
The stairs are a central symbol, fairly clear shorthand for the difference between social standings of the impoverished Kim family and the wealthy Park family, but there's more than one theme that the many sets of stairs symbolise.
The many exterior steps going down from the mansion to the Kims's sub-basement shows just how enormous the economic disparity is, with the steps becoming increasingly dangerous and dirty and badly lit the farther down they go. The contentment of those living in the basement also presents thematic significance for those who are content to take the scraps of the ignorant wealthy and be absurdly grateful for it, in contrast with the hopeful bid for change of station by those who live in the semi-surfaced sub-basement.
The film is rich with much more symbolism than these, and all the thought put into an already stylish, enjoyable film deserves lauding.