By: Amanda Holt
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Movies to Watch Before: none
This South Korean film has taken the film world by storm this month. Director Bong Joon-Ho takes a look at the mixing of the poor and the rich. This movie is full of stressful moments and lots of reflection on the social constructs of the rich and poor. Bong does something quite unsettling with this movie making you feel lots of emotions and questioning how society views social classes at all levels.
This film follows the Kim family, a very poor family living in a semi-basement apartment in a poor neighborhood. The Kim family is the father Ki-taek, the mother Chung-sook, and the siblings, Ki-woo and Ki-jung. When Ki-woo is asked by a friend to tutor a young girl he is excited to finally have a job. Finding out that the job is with the Park family and seeing how rich and wonderful their life seems to be, Ki-woo hatches a plan to get more money. Make sure you don’t hear any spoilers for this movie because the rest of the plot moves in a way that will surprise you every step of the way.
The cast of the film were all Korean actors so I haven’t seen them in anything else before. Even so, the actors for this film were so breathtaking in their performances. They were all so believable and the way they all portrayed their characters added to the story as a whole. I think that every character pulled their weight equally. The stand out actor is Myeong-hoon Park, but I can’t tell you why. His character plays a vital role in what makes this movie so unsettling and his performance is one that will leave you scared, anxious, and upset.
The filmography in this movie was so beautiful at parts and so scary at others. There were some shots in this film that blew me away with how gorgeous and thought-provoking they were. I think that the filmography added to the plot so well and complemented what Bong was trying to tell the audience. The soundtrack to this film is so subtle in the way that you don’t realize how it is helping the scene, but it does help in a big way. This score helps guide your emotions about the scene. It gradually gets darker as the movie progresses and improves the movie experience so much.
This movie is a South Korean film so it’s all in Korean and is 99% of Korean actors working on the film. As someone who only watches American films, it was nice to see how other countries make their films and how the Korean culture influences the storytelling process. Korean culture is more glorified with the rise of K-Pop and teenagers being obsessed with the K-Pop stars so I don’t know a lot about Korea besides that. It was interesting to see what differences came with a foreign film, but the story was unlike anything I’ve ever seen so it was nice to have the non-Western happy ending that we Americans always see.
Overall this film will unsettle you in ways that you wouldn’t expect. It will have you take a step back and wonder what is going on and if this happens in society. I can’t recommend this movie enough. Even if you are not a fan of subtitles, the plot, music, actors, and filmography makes up for it. It doesn’t feel like reading, it feels like part of the experience. Four stars is a high rating from me and I think this film has a lot of impact on the soul and mind. It makes you think and feel things that you normally wouldn’t have.