Last night in Hollywood, "Parasite" won the Oscar for "Best Picture". To be honest, I knew almost nothing about it - except that it was a Korean film requiring subtitles and that it had won the "Palme d'Or" at the Cannes Film Festival last summer,
Today, as the British Isles recovered from Storm Ciara, and feeling somewhat curious about the Oscar winner, I travelled into the city centre to watch a lunchtime screening of "Parasite". Sitting back in my upholstered seat, I waited for the magic to happen.
It is a beautifully crafted film, fitting happily together like a thousand piece jigsaw. The attention to detail is quite uncommon. It is easy to see how those who work in the movie industry would be impressed with it.
"Parasite" is a mixture of comedy, tragedy, horror, mystery, absurdity and psycho-drama. It revolves around two families - one from the upper echelons of South Korean society and the other from the next to bottom rung. Reading the English subtitles means that you engage differently with what transpires on screen. It's an untypical kind of concentration.
In terms of cinematic quality, I really have no idea how you could possibly compare "Parasite" with "1917". The latter is a large historical canvas but Bong Joon-ho's film is domestic and rather intimate. The latter is largely serious but "Parasite" is often very silly. I don't mean that in a disparaging way. Silliness is generally underrated and is certainly a human trait worth exploring through film.
I won't say any more about the plot - in case you go to see "Parasite" yourself. In the end, I thought that the plural form of the word would have made a more appropriate title.