If you aren’t already planning to see this movie then go see it immediately! As Bong Joon-ho said “It’s only a small line to cross to read the subtitles.” And this movie is worth it as well as all the awards, also those nominations it didn’t receive (Best Acting in Oscars, but they are a local show anyway).
The Kim family live in a semi-basement, poor, living day to day. When their son, Kim Ki-woo, gets a chance to tutor the daughter of the rich Park family and soon enlists his sister to help the youngest son of the Parks. Soon their whole family is employed by the family, through schemes and lies and deceit.
Rain falls down. In the high ground it looks like dream, a view on a screen by the way the Parks’ large window looks to the garden. Beautiful and distant. The Kims’ run down the many stairs back to their home. Rain pours down, drenching them, watering the streets, making rivers out of alleys and waterfalls from stairs. It is a hard way down. Their whole street is flooding, their neighbours are trying to save their belongings. The whole place looks like something from a disaster movie, and it is, but for the Park’s it’s just another rainy day.
The whole piece of writing is just a small aspect of this movie that speaks volumes on class and Capitalism, the elite and the poor. Our own viewpoint reflects on how we feel about the movie. There are no villains in this world, its the society that itself has created this supposed divide between classes which shouldn’t exist. It’s about the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor and how it creates a hierarchy that tries to make human those who are seen less than, it’s up to you to decide who in the end the latter, though I would think any normal person would side with the Kim’s over the Park’s, despite all that they do.
In that way the film feels quite Dickensian, except with sharp modern cynicism and excellent directing and acting that compliment each other along with a strong screenplay and cinematography that makes sure you understand the message of the film. And it is by no means heavy handed in its message since all the characters are the kinds we understand to point, for good or bad. I am sure it will provide a masterclass in filmmaking in all aspects of the collective process for those who are aspiring to the profession.
But that is getting too technical, yet I feel like I can’t say too much, because in the end it is a film best experienced without spoilers the first time and then for the next viewings all the reveals from the first viewing give way to the small details missed. Let it immerse you first, care about our characters, see the symbolism, the subtitled dialogue and the experience of an awakening to the roots of society that we live.
If this film in anyway interests you then go, it is an experience first and a bunch of films analysis the next time. It is darkly humorous, caring yet cynical, knows its characters and space and leave’s much to think about after you leave the theatre. It makes you think, it makes you feel and most of all, it makes you see differently the world from which you entered inside that very theatre, as any good film should.
Thank you for reading!