Are They Worth The Hype? “Crash Landing on You” and “Parasite” Review

Hi Friends! I am mostly stuck at home for over two weeks now as we mostly are because of corona virus outbreak. While I am pretty bummed out about it because we had to cancel our most anticipated dream trip this year, I must say I am seeing a light in this dark situation. I have more time to blog and to collaborate with my International Blogger Friends!

Jirah and I eventually chose this topic as we both have fondness over Korean dramas although not as much as her. Together we take a look on the two recent South Korean recent hits: Crash Landing on You, which somehow gave us smile amidst the nCOV-19 filled news. For the movie, there was “Parasite” which won “Best Picture” and was largely celebrated as the very first non-English movie to have won the “Oscars”.

Are they worth the hype?

(WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!)

Crash Landing On You

Yoon-Seri, a successful businesswoman, was caught in a paragliding accident and landed unknowingly in North Korea. Luckily  a kindhearted , handsome and low-profile rich North-Korean soldier Ri Jeong-hyuk  found her. He gave her shelter and paved ways to bring her back to South Korea secretly. Complication arises when they fell in love. (Awww…)

Gurezu’s Verdict

Before I answer the question if this series deserves the raves, I want to voice out my thoughts after finishing it.

I hated the ending! I felt so sad for the second couple. Why does it have to be so tragic? My Korean heart was crying. Seung-Jun’s death in the last episode is just heartbreaking. At the latter part of the drama, I became more invested in Seun-Jun- Seo-Dan love story more than the main couple. Although their romance was short, their dramatic scenes had more effect on me. To tell you the truth, I grew to love Seung Jun’s character more than Jeong-Hyuk. Why? Hyun Bin’s character is too dreamy, too good to be true. Such man exists in fantasy world. Unlike Seung-Jun’s character which has more reality in him (except the shootout scene. That was LOL)

He is not perfect . He is obviously a sinner and most likely a kind of person you won’t recommend to yourself and to your friends. But as the time went on, you see the kindness in him. He did risk his life to save the main couple several times even he won’t get something out of it. And his journey to desire in becoming a better person for Seo-Dan was just endearing to watch. It’s his unexpected character development that made him charming. I really wanted Seo Dan and Seun jun to be happy but well, the writer did not give it to them. So I really don’t like the ending but in a good way because it means the substorylines are also worth it.

I am not so crazy about the Riri couple. The acting is superb and they totally look good together. They have strong chemistry but for me it kind of fizzled out toward the end mainly because Jeong-Hyuk feel so unreal. What made me love this series was the unexpected camaraderie Ser-ri formed with Jeong-Hyuk’s subordinates and the nosy neighbors. Their antics and misadventures when they went to South-Korea made the overly-long episodes fun to watch. My favorite was the one who extremely loves K-drama.

To answer the question, do this drama deserved the hype? I would say yes! Though I’m not crazy about it, I understood why it was a hit. It has intriguing storyline and effectively made me laugh and care about their conclusion. The side plots are so good too. I also felt that people checked this out because of “North Korea” plot in it. Who won’t be curious right? We have read and watched news that North Korea is such a dreadful country. They launched nuclear weapons. There are rumors of inhumane and brutal execution there. Given that their country has military tension for years, I think the writer and the production just jump off the fence to create this series. According to what I read, it made positive reviews for humanizing North Korea and showed that it’s possible for North Koreans and South Koreans to be friends with each other. I guess the series was beyond love story and they tried to make a difference. So yes, it deserves the hype. I love it.

Final Verdict: 8/10, worth the hype

JIRAHLIZATION VERDICT.

WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!

Rating: 10/10

Worth The Hype: YES!

It was dragging at the beginning when Se-Ri and her family’s background are being portrayed. It is the usual feud of Rich Families over money.  But it gets exciting when Se-Ri, a business woman quite known in South Korea accidentally paraglided in North Korea and met a reserved-yet-honorable-no-connection-Captain-turned-member-of-high-end-military-family.  I thought the story would just revolve around Se-Ri trying to escape South Korea without going through Military Process. But that would be very dragging, right? Seri successfully went back to her home country with the help of Captain Ri and the rest of his team who have grown to love Se-Ri themselves. Then another half of the story unfolded when Captain Ri hasto s sneak into the South to protect Se-Ri from danger.

Since half of the story rolled over into Se-Ri continuously escaping the North while staying at Captain Ri, it helped us understand the life of a community living under a restrictive and highly authoritative country. They were laid back, far behind from technology, follows rules strictly, and yet oozes with loyalty, care and love for each other. I am fond of how CLOY was able to make the scenes lighter and mostly fun.  CLOY is unique as it is a story of hope that people in the North and South Korea can live harmoniously. It is not just a typical love story but a story of how a North fell in love with a South in a very odd setting. Their love story depicted how two seemingly divided country can also unite–someday.


PARASITE

This is a story of a family with no stable livelihood infiltrating the lives of a rich family household by posing as highly qualified employees.

Gurezu’s Verdict.

I have made a full blog entry on this entitled “Why Parasite Deserves the Best Picture Awards?” and I was the one who recommended Jirah to watch this. It’s obvious where I stand for Parasite. Since I already wrote a separate blog about it, I would like to re-state the gist of why it deserve all the love it gets.

1. Universal theme in a unique story. 

2. No clean-cut good or bad characters. 

3. Genre-bending movie

4. Technically flawless.

Aside from that I love how the director meticulously framed each scene and used the vertical lines to drive the imagery on the separation of poor and rich classes. Every scenes has meaning. It was deep but highly entertaining to watch at the same time. That’s for me the reason why it stood out in the academy even breaking the barrier of “subtitle-hating” audience.

And with the COVID-19 crisis, the movie proves to be more relevant. There was a heavy rain scene here in Parasite. Just like a typical rainy season scene in the Philippines, the poor family’s house got submerged in neck deep flood.They spent the night in a gymnasium with the other families that lost their homes. But for the rich family, it was just a minor inconvenience. It ruined the camping birthday celebration for the youngest member of the family. But the next day, they considered the heavy rain as a blessing to clean the polluted air. Unlike with the poor family, that event altered their life drastically. This build up the tension that lead to tragic conclusion of this movie. See? Just like in our situation today, you can clearly feel the contrast of the rich and the poor. It’s easier for the rich to comply for quarantine because they have the resources to live. But for the poor, it’s a matter of life and death. If they don’t go to work, they won’t be able to feed their families. It’s easy for the rich to criticize and call out the people who can’t comply. There’s a clash because the privileged can’t empathize enough. The lessons of this movie resonates in the society yesterday and today. And this is why I love it.

FINAL RATING: 9.5/10, totally worth the hype and the award

Jirah’s Verdict.

Rating: 10/10

Worth The Hype: YES!

Most of the people I asked who watched this movie said that they found this movie boring. It was because they thought it was a horror movie! That’s why you better read the synopsis before watching a movie to set your expectations. I wasn’t really planning to watch but since we are making a collab post for the International Blogger Friends, Gurezu recommended this movie. There were two families that depicts social status: Poor and Rich. The Poor Family: Kim’s, is living under the edge, struggling to make ends meet by folding pizza boxes.The Rich: Park’s. Their daughter needs an English Tutor. As they trusted the previous tutor’s recommendation, they accepted Ki-Woo Kim who posed as a graduate from a prestigious University. That’s when they infiltrated the Park’s.

It is cunning and devious how the Kim’s kicked out the current hires of the Park’s. Ki-Woo’s sibling, Ki-Jung, posed as an Art Therapist, and helped the Park’s son, navigate his trauma through art. Then they plotted ways to replace the loyal housemaid and the driver.

One word came to mind after watching the movie: TRAGIC.

It was all over the movie. The tragedy of how a poor mindset will really make you poorer. How they clung to the Rich and acted as if it is their own. The tragedy of how a Rich guy would frown and smirk at a Poor one because of their smell or standing in life.

Another plot twist is that the husband of the loyal housemaid is living under the basement the only the previous owner and the loyal housemaid know. When the housemaid was kicked out, she begged to sneak in the house when the Park’s were out of town.

That’s when the tragedy of tragedies happened.

The housemaid died due to head blunt trauma when one of the Kim’s kicked her to the basement so the Park’s won’t see her. The husband who is living off the basement for as long as he can remember plotted a revenge to the Kim’s and killed their daughter (Art Therapist Poser) during the Park’s son’s birthday party.

In the midst of chaos, Mr. Kim, killed Mr. Park, most probably because of bruised ego when Mr. Park continuously looked down on him.

It was a continuous struggle for both families. I can’t imagine how the families survived the trauma with what happened that day.

It effectively showed the wide gap between social statuses. It portrays the cunning behavior of the poor and the high and mighty entitlement of the rich. The movie effectively narrates the sick and gruesome details of the poor in Korea.

It was tragic. Real tragic. I and all 6 of us in the movie house was moved. We were laughing at some witty scenes and screaming at the thrilled and scary ones. I hope more have come to see the movie. It was tragic but full of real stuff and life realizations.

Here’s the trailer for the “Parasite” if you want to catch a glimpse.

And Oh before we end this blog, let’s take a look at the side by side pictures of actors that were both in “Crash Landing on You” and “Parasite”! Such great actors.

Mother of Seo Dan is also the mother of the poor family in Parasite. The uncle of Seo Dan is the basement man in Parasite. The contrast of their characters is just unbelievable.

In conclusion, Jirah and I agreed that they are worthy of praise and hype. How about you? What do think of these two South Korean hits? Let us know in the comment.

I’m inviting everyone to check out my friends blog Jirahlization.wordpress.com. She’s a Filipina writer based in UAE. She wrote the book ” The Book of Single (The Lost Testament)”. Get to know her more on her blog.

PS:

Hi JIRAH, I would like to thank you for accepting my International Blogger Friend invitation and doing this collaboration with me. I know are very busy yourself so I really appreciate the time. I hope you’re doing well in UAE. How’s the country holding up by the way ? I rarely see UAE in news amidst Covid-19.I hope it means you have lower case of the virus there. I hope this won’t be the last time we talk. Rest assured that I will support your blog. I hope to meet you personally soon!

***DISCLAIMER*** ALL PHOTOS and GRAPHICS here are not mine.

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?