11/07/2019

Shallow metaphors

"Parasite"- with its best visual metaphor.

In “Parasite” a character ironically tosses remarks “it’s metaphorical” usually at some lame configurations or objects.  Does it come from the filmmaker trying to diffuse a possible criticism of his film, which is one giant, lame and tired metaphor?  Yes, I am probably one of a dozen people on the planet who doesn’t go nuts about the tile.

The story reads and looks like a calculated rendering of a Marxist theory about a class struggle.  Such a simplistic juxtaposition of rich and poor, cartoonish rendering of the social sides and tired and predictable attempts at grotesque could pass in the 19th century.  Nowadays, at least to me, they feel cheap and boring.

The only interesting character in the Parasite is the father with his slowly brewing evolution.  In this respect he chimes with the main character in the original “Old Boy”, one of my favorite movies of all times.  Even though the former is a grotesque and the latter a thriller they both use several common stylistic elements - downstairs/upstairs, capturing, release, panoramic windows, wide angle tableaux, unexpected violence and more as well as attempts to enter the tormented souls of their heroes.  I like the freshness and intelligence of the Old boy narrative technology.   Granted, grotesque doesn’t have to be profound, but doesn’t have to be superficial either.