Updated: Dec 10, 2020
There’s quite a bit of hype around this film already, but going in I knew nothing about it. I prefer this, I rarely watch trailers for this very reason (the modern trend of giving too much away in trailers pisses me off). The opening is somewhat delightful, a young Korean family out of work and living in poverty, but looking out for one another, keeping positive and striving to ‘help themselves’. It’s touching, heartwarming and even the slight squalor is beautifully shot. Good fortune finds it’s way to them as the children begin tutoring jobs for a wealthy family living in the sort of show home that an episode of Grand Designs would die for. It’s not until half an hour in, that this new hope gives way a little. Just a little crack, almost undetectable. What unfolds over the next two hours though is a masterpiece in tense deceit. I’m loathed to give too many details but suffice to say, this is a beautifully dark tale that reveals itself slowly and with such grace, it’s nothing short of perfect. I don’t think I can recall a film with such intense levels of humour and brazen deception built on the simplest of premises, desperation to survive. The plot, cast, cinematography, every damn facet, flawless. The deft twists of the characters as to who is good and who is bad, as the tension rises between the social classes to unbelievable yet plausible levels is ridiculously gripping. Even the finale which after such mastery is bound to disappoint, does anything but. I know it’s only January, but this surely has to be film of the year.