Yes, finally the great Bong Joon-ho had a smash and was showered with
prizes all around the world. You can read more about
his films on this my humble South Korean Film Page and i still do think
Bong has escaped the most unscathed of the great
South Korean directors regarding the dangerous contacts with western
Kim Je-woon made the disastrous 2008 "The Good, The Bad, The Weird"
a spaghetti Mongolian western inflenced by the
infantile fluff of Tarantino, and then the awfully bad Netflix sci-fi
action "Illang: The Wolf Brigade" in 2018. How could this
the once great director who once made films like "The Quiet Family",
"The Foul King" or "A Tale of Two Sisters" ?
Park Chan-wook has fared better than Kim, as he made
only the crappy Hollywood movie "Stoker" in 2012, but otherwise
be unscathed as he made The Handmaiden in 2016 and is working on his
new South Korean produced film 2021-2022 "Decision
to Leave" or "The Decision to Breakup". My hopes for
Park is still high. Just watch his IPhone experimental artmovie in b&w
the 2011 "Paramanjang" or "Nightfishing" - a work
of Pure Genius.
Bong Joon Ho then
? Miraculously Bong seems to be quite unscathed after contact with the
nasty western filmmaking virus.
"Snowpiercer" the dystopian sci fi thriller in 2013 was only
so-so because of the poor CGI used but interesting, and the 2017
Netflix produced Okja, some sort of sci-fi fantasy drama thriller was
great. So Bong Joon-ho has kept his integrity and his quirky
humour also in his western projects, and after "Parasite"
i hope he will not try to satisfy the Western asshole critics and his
new audience in his coming filmmaking, but as a true auteur only make
the films he himself wants to see and do.
My favourite Bong Joon-ho films are 2009 "Mother",
2003 "Memories of Murder" and the 2006 creature horror "The
Just as with Bong's 2017 "Okja" this film
is hard to define, drama, comedy, thriller and even horror, everything
in the same film.
In the underbelly of society lives the poor Kim family in a crappy below
ground apartment, almost a cellar. Kim Ki-taek (Song
Kang-ho) lives there with his smart kids, his son Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik),
his daughter Ki-jung (Park So-dam) and his wife
Chung-sook. When Ki-woo gets a job as an english teacher to the teenage
daughter of the very rich Park family he concocts
a brilliant plan: He butters up Mrs. Park (Cho Yeo-jeong) and talks
her into hiring his sister to handle the youngest kid in the
Park family. They also lures the Parks to hire papa Kim as the driver
and mama Kim as the new house-maid.
Like leeches they will stick to the Park family and live on them.
The film at this stage plays out like a comedy where
the rich and naively gullible Park family is fooled like idiots, and
the underclass Kim family takes their revenge on the upper classes.
But, the Kim's are NOT at all likeable, they are grifters
and plot, without any hesitation so the poor old driver loses his job,
and they also plot so the poor old house-maid Moon
Gwang (Lee Jung-eun) loses her job. So, no socialist heroes here, the
Kim family is scum.
After the first half of the film i actually got a bit
bored as the film seemed to play out as a cliche, the family succeeded
everything they've planned and i just waited for the Kim family to replace
also the Park family ....
BUT NO, at this point the film took off in a completely and delightfully
new direction, Enter Again: Moon Gwang ....
The film was presented in widescreen 2.35:1 with korean
audio DTS-HD MA 5.1 and with swedish subtitles, region B