Whether it’s due to a unique plot twist or some controversial subject matter that deserves further exploration, the Spoiler Room provides a place for our authors, and you readers, to discuss a film’s details outside of our regular spoiler-free reviews.
In my review of Parasite, I described the finale as lackluster, and honestly that may have been generous. For most of its runtime, the film’s narrative is tightly-wound, building to inevitable destruction, but the climax at Da-song’s birthday party borders on absurd. Ki-woo, the Kim family’s son, is bludgeoned with rock (twice) and somehow survives despite the immense amount of blood pouring from his head, though his sister dies shortly thereafter from a stab wound to the chest. After witnessing two murders, one of which comically(?) involves a meat skewer, the Park family patriarch takes a moment to recoil from the “poor man smell” which triggers Ki-taek, the Kim family patriarch, to stab him to death.
Granted, the film does set up Mr. Park’s revulsion with the “smell” of Ki-taek, but that’s a ridiculous motivation to drive Ki-taek to kill. It reminded me of Curb Your Enthusiasm, where each episode ends in the outlandish, exaggerated culmination of many tiny details. Then comes the lengthy epilogue which jarringly uses voiceover for the first time in the film. Unsure whether his audience will pick up on the obvious, Bong Joon-ho spells out exactly where Ki-taek hides and how he survives seclusion. Admittedly, I liked the final bittersweet moment of hope dashed by reality, but the road to get there was too contrived.
What did you think of Parasite’s ending and the film in general? Was it Bong Joon-ho’s masterpiece? Ambitious, but flawed? A complete mess? Leave your thoughts in the comments.