Why Parasite Deserves the Best Picture Awards?

It made history!  “Parasite” won the Oscar Best Picture Award! It is the very first non-English film to win in the academy. And having personally enjoyed the film immensely, I felt proud and joyous as well that I brought my lazy ass to sit and write a blog about it.

It’s so metaphorical!”

These are the points that I feel made Parasite appealing to Global audience, even successfully seeping through the audience who who does not like “reading subtitles”. This is purely my opinions. I am no serious film critic. And I won’t be comparing this film on it’s competitors in this year’s Oscars because I haven’t watch all of them yet. My sole credential was I love watching films too and I do recognize a good story.

Most of all, this is a spoiler-free review. I would discuss only the part of the film that you will also see in the official trailer itself. So you don’t have to worry.

  1. Universal theme but unique story. You don’t need to have an experience living in a particular country or living in a different time to immerse yourself in the premise of the movie. It is a story of two families in contrasting financial condition, the rich and poor. Simple as that. This simplicity, however, was enamored with such a unique storyline.

2. No clean-cut good or bad characters. It is easy to tell that the protagonist of this movie was the poor family. The movie deals with their journey the most. Even if the rich family seems to be the antagonist, they are not villainy in characters. Actually they are nice people. They could be entitled people but that’s because of their lack of exposure from how poor people lives. But they are certainly not entirely depicted as bad. However, I could not tell the same with our protagonist poor family. From the trailer it self, you will see they began to take advantage of the rich family by lying. But then you will understand where they come from. They just want to have a good life. I love this kind of dynamic in characters. In most movies, it’s easy to root for a particular party when there was a clean cut bad or good. And in real life, it was not like that. People can be both bad and good and it depends on our perspective in life on whose side would we root for. I love these kind of movies.

3. Genre-bending movie. As people have said, this movie is a hella ride of emotions. It made me laugh, sad,excited and scared. They say films that try to mix two or more genres together will likely feel scattered. Well this movie did it with flying colors. It made me confused along the way but in a very good and exciting manner.

4. Technically flawless. The classical music inspired soundtrack. The cinematography. The acting. Everyone in this movie was great. No scene was wasted. I have watched a behind the scene of this movie and I am really amazed that even the architecture of the houses of both families were made from scratch to fulfill the director’s vision of inserting a deeper meaning on the contrast of each lives. Moreover, the director wanted to illustrate the class division by using staircases and windows. So the architecture of the house and how it responds to sun movements was design with intention. The director even have a comic-book like sketches of each frame. I just love this particular detail of the behind the scenes . The director put so much heart and art on it.

For the actors, I can’t seem to pick a favorite character actor/actress here because in one way or another they have a spotlight in this movie. Even those with little screen time were essential.

To sum my points, the movie is both super entertaining and deep. The balance of these two characteristics made it a modern masterpiece.

It’s a milestone for South Korean film industry but also in the award giving body that recognized it. It just means they are ready to embrace wider ideas and concepts. I always felt Oscar were just for Hollywood movies before. It is only now I felt they are ready to go “international” as it should be. It is a win for Asian countries too. Maybe a film in my country Philippines would also break barriers someday. I am positive with that. We have talents here but seemingly lacks courage.

How about you? Did you also enjoy this movie? Who do you think is/are the parasites in this movie?

Indak (Movie Review)

Jen (Nadine Lustre) is an island tourist guide who loves to dance without an audience due to a childhood traumatic experience. Her dancing in the middle of the ocean caught the eyes of the passing tourists and her video went viral in social media. Vin (Sam Concepcion) who happens to be in the same island immediately sought her to be a new member of Indak Pinas , a dance group that would represent the Philippines in the World Dance Competition in South Korea.

WHAT I LIKED!

  • I love the actors. First, Nadine Lustre has the perfect island girl look.  .We all know she’s a total performer. She can sing, dance and act. And I’m happy that  she got a chance to show it off here. She embodies the look of real Filipina beauty. But what I like most from Nadine Lustre was that she has both mainstream and contemporary appeal. Like for example, I can imagine her take indie film roles and do it with justice. Something that won’t work with other mainstream actresses. She has that kind of magic for me.  Sam Concepcion is perfect also for this movie. He can dance but I love his singing more. He also surprised me that he can  act. He has this expressive and vulnerable eyes. I never saw him act so it’s a revelation to me. I want to see more  of him.
  • The visuals and framing. I was blown-away how they showcase Bantayan Island in Cebu . For me, this is a low-key  tourism video and I say that in a positive light.  I love the colors they put whenever the scene is in Bantayan at broad daylight. It brings out the paradise in this island.
  • The music. I appreciate that they invested in original songs for this movie. I personally like the song “Sumayaw sa Indak”. There was this authentic Filipino pride in that song that sends the message of “never giving up” in dancing tune.
  •   It’s rare for Philippine Cinema to have a sort of musical movie targeting younger audiences. I love the song and dance numbers. On top of that, there was this whole poetic narrations from Nadine that anchored the whole movie. It is ambitious. I like it and it turns out really fresh.

MESSAGE of THE MOVIE

Don’t let a one-time disappointment pull you down and limit your world. And also the support you  can give to your friends and family can go a long way in helping them face their fears. This theme explored between the relationship of Jen and her mother (Yayo Aguila). Their relationship is the most moving part of the movie.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE!

  • Underdeveloped sub-plots. Is there a love triangle? Not so much. Is this a love story? Yes, kind of. Is this about the journey of a Filipino creatives braving the international stage? Yes. There was a chemistry with Nadine and Sam but it felt like the movie skipped on building it up appropriately. So when  it’s time for the characters to make drama out  if it, there was this lack of intensity.  I have to mention that I specially hated the scene at the airport. So there’s a love triangle drama going on in the most inconvenient time. While, it can give the movie the conflict it should have, the lack of development leading to that conflict is just problematic. Perhaps, the movie has some issues with  balancing between their journey to the world dance and the romance backstory.
  • There were awkward lip syncing going on in some of the parts of the movie. It’s not the talent’s fault because their voices are really great. It’s just the technicality of syncing their voice and the video. And it’s unsettling to watch.

FINAL VERDICT! ★★★½

3.5 out of 5 stars! Despite the many flaws in the story, the movie is refreshing, brave and has good message.

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###########SPOILER time. Beware of the following section if you haven’t watched it. You have been warned.#####################################

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1.SUDDEN unprofessionalism from Nadine’s character. As I’ve mentioned above, there was this annoying airport scene wherein Jen did not show up in the airport for their boarding time. I didn’t get the sudden drama of not showing of having second thoughts.  Also, Vin and Jen are living in the same condo. Why don’t they go the airport together? In the end Jen showed to the airport and the following scenes suggests that she and Sam flew on a different plane. Jen’s selfishness carried on before the competition itself as she did not inform the team that she’s already in the venue. And she just showed when they are about to dance. I get it that she’s heartbroken but the events leading to it did not get proper build-up to make her actions justifiable.

2. They didn’t win as champions in World Dance Competition.

3. Sam’s character was engaged in the past and it turns out that he has not moved on and has been using Jen as rebound. Some scenes suggests that the girl might have been dead already.

4. It was not really clear if they became officially together at the end. Or Indak team were just having a vacation in Bantayan Island after the competition.

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And that’s it ! I’ve been watching a lot of films these days. And I have more movie reviews coming up. If you have watched this film, let me now your thoughts below!

It’s not too late for everything,

GUREZU ❤

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