By Catholic News Service
This South Korean feature begins as a sly comedy, then takes a surprising turn that leads on to a bloody, operatic climax laden with grim social commentary about class conflict.
After the son (Choi Woo-shik) of an impoverished family uses false pretenses to secure a position tutoring the daughter (Jeong Ji-so) of a wealthy household (led by Lee Sun-kyun and Cho Yeo-jeong), both his parents (Song Kang-ho and Chang Hyae-jin) and his sister (Park So-dam) con their way into jobs with the prosperous clan while pretending to be strangers to one another. But the longtime housekeeper (Lee Jung-eun) they’ve displaced has a secret that threatens to upend their successful ruse.
Clever and insightful, director and co-writer Bong Joon-ho’s film is too disturbing for casual moviegoers, though grown viewers willing to tackle its tougher elements, including some explicit sensuality within marriage, will encounter an accomplished piece of cinema.
In Korean. Subtitles. Much gory violence, semi-graphic marital lovemaking, a couple of profanities, a few milder oaths, considerable rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.