Parasite and Roma by
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I love the movies and try to see all the good stuff.

Last month I read the glowing reviews of Parasite ,  the new South Korean film directed by Bong Joon-Ho,  the Palme d’Or winner at Cannes.  And then when friend after friend after friend recommended it,  I was really intrigued and put it on top of my must-see list.

We had planned a weekend visit to out-of- town friends and they had suggestions for fun things to do.  I asked if they hadn’t seen Parasite might we also see that one night,  and so we did.

And despite the rave reviews and all the enthusiastic recommendations from friends,  all four of us disliked it.

I understand the film’s condemnation of the classism and inequality that’s rampant,  not just in Korean society but  elsewhere in our sorry world.   And I grant that the violence in the film is not gratuitous,  and the acting is first-rate.   And I don’t demand happy endings in books or in films,  but might I get just a glimpse at redemption,  or a sliver of hope for some resolution?

On the other hand a film whose theme is also the disparity between the rich and the poor is the beautiful and wondrous Roma, written and directed by the gifted Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron.  You may remember at last year’s Oscars Roma garnered well-deserved awards for best foreign film, best direction and best cinematography.

If you must see Parasite,  go ahead,  but then please watch, or watch again the magnificent Roma and tell me what you think,

Dana Susan Lehrman

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!
www.WorldThruBrownEyes.com

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Tags: Movies

Comments

  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    Parasite was the closing film of this year’s Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival (not nearly as grand at the title would suggest). It was one of the few good films screened, though I will say that the audience reaction was decidedly mixed. The more I thought about it, the more I liked it. I did think the way the director portrayed the lower class characters over-taking the upper class was interesting and portrayed the upper class as vainglorious twits (the wife was concerned for the welfare of her children, but easily duped). I thought it showed an interesting slice of life and where initiative and scheming can get one. It did lead to horror and destruction, and I think ended ironically.

  2. That makes horse-racing!
    I hear the praise from you and from most of the critics , but I need at least a hint at some redemption, and yes some beauty or poignancy – even in an ugly story.

    Did you like last year’s Roma which also dealt with disparate classes? I thought it was a wonderful look at quiet, and sometimes desperate lives.

  3. Suzy says:

    Dana, your story about wanting to see Parasite and then hating it make me laugh out loud! It was playing at the theatre near our house when my kids were home for Thanksgiving. My son wanted to see it, so he walked there and back (a mile each way) even though it was drizzling. He thought it was great. I read about it online and knew I had no desire to see it. And I still don’t.

  4. I’m with you Suzy! But have your seen Roma, and did you love it as I did?

  5. Laurie Levy says:

    I loved Roma, Dana. I also thought Parasite had a lot to say and had moments of brilliant satire. Like you, I thought the violence was too much.

    • Laurie, glad you liked Roma, a thought it a quiet masterpiece.
      As for Parasite, in my quick take I said the violence was not gratuitous, but thinking about it again, I think it was over the top, verging on the laughable.
      In The Irishman the violence is never laughable, nor should it be.
      .

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