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Exploring the Masterpieces of Bong Joon-ho

A Guide to His Top 5 Films

By Subin @vocalPublished 2 months ago 6 min read


"Parasite" is a South Korean dark comedy-thriller film directed by Bong Joon-ho and released in 2019. The film tells the story of a struggling working-class family who become involved in the lives of a wealthy family through a series of lies and deception. The film is a commentary on the growing income inequality and class divide in South Korea, and the way in which the rich exploit the poor for their own gain.

The film received critical acclaim for its clever writing, masterful direction, and excellent performances. Bong Joon-ho's direction blends together elements of black comedy, thriller, and social commentary, resulting in a film that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. The cinematography is also exceptional, with striking shots that perfectly capture the film's themes and mood.

The performances of the cast are top-notch, with standout performances from Song Kang-ho and Lee Sun-kyun. The film also features a talented ensemble cast, each of whom delivers a memorable performance.

"Parasite" was a massive commercial success, becoming the highest-grossing South Korean film of all time and breaking records worldwide. The film's success was further solidified when it won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film, making Bong Joon-ho the first South Korean director to win an Academy Award.

"Parasite" is a masterpiece of filmmaking that tackles important social issues with wit, intelligence, and an engaging story. The film's success is a testament to Bong Joon-ho's talent as a filmmaker, and it is sure to be remembered as one of the defining films of the 21st century.

Memories of Murder

"Memories of Murder" (2003) is a South Korean crime thriller film directed by Bong Joon-ho, who later went on to win critical acclaim for his works such as "The Host" (2006) and "Parasite" (2019). The film is set in 1986 in rural South Korea and follows the story of a detective from Seoul who is sent to help local detectives in the investigation of a series of brutal murders. The film is based on the true story of the Hwaseong serial murders, which took place between 1986 and 1991.

Throughout the film, the audience is taken on a journey as the detectives attempt to solve the mystery of the murders, which only seem to increase in number. As the detectives delve deeper into the investigation, they are faced with a number of obstacles, including conflicting evidence, and a lack of resources. Despite these challenges, they persist in their quest to find the killer.

The film is known for its intense, suspenseful storyline and the strong performances of its cast, which includes Kang-ho Song, who later went on to star in "The Host" and "Snowpiercer". The film is also notable for its visual style, which is highly stylized and atmospheric, and its use of music, which helps to create a sense of tension and unease.

"Memories of Murder" was well received by audiences and critics alike and is widely regarded as one of the best crime thrillers of its time. Bong Joon-ho's expert storytelling and filmmaking skills, combined with the strong performances of the cast, make this a film that is not to be missed. Whether you are a fan of the genre or simply looking for a compelling, well-made film, "Memories of Murder" is sure to leave a lasting impression.

The Host

"The Host" is a 2006 South Korean monster movie directed by Bong Joon-ho. The film tells the story of a monster that emerges from the Han River and terrorizes Seoul, leading a working-class family to take action to save their daughter. The film combines elements of comedy and drama, with social commentary on the state of South Korean society. The film's monster design is a unique creation, both frightening and absurd, and it is brought to life through a combination of practical and CGI effects.

The Host is more than just a monster movie, as it delves into themes of family, politics, and environmentalism. The story focuses on the Park family, a struggling, working-class clan, who are trying to rescue their daughter Hyun-seo from the clutches of the monster. Throughout the film, the family is portrayed as imperfect but loving, and their actions to save Hyun-seo are motivated by their strong bonds of family.

In addition to its strong themes, "The Host" also features a sharp sense of humor that is both dark and absurd. Bong Joon-ho masterfully blends the serious and the comedic, making "The Host" a unique and memorable film experience. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $120 million worldwide, and cementing Bong Joon-ho's reputation as one of South Korea's most talented filmmakers.

"The Host" is a thrilling and entertaining film that explores important themes while delivering a captivating monster movie experience. Whether you're a fan of the genre or simply enjoy a good movie, "The Host" is definitely worth checking out.


"Okja" (2017) is a South Korean-American film directed by Bong Joon-ho. The film follows the story of a young girl named Mija who lives in the mountains of South Korea with her grandfather and her best friend, a genetically engineered "superpig" named Okja. When Okja is taken to the city by the multinational corporation behind her creation, the Mirando Corporation, Mija embarks on a journey to rescue her friend and bring her back home.

Throughout the film, the audience is taken on a wild ride as Mija and her allies face various obstacles in their quest to save Okja. The film explores themes of animal rights, corporate greed, and the exploitation of nature and the environment. The visuals are stunning and the story is both heartwarming and heart-wrenching. The cast, including Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Jake Gyllenhaal, and An Seo Hyun, deliver powerful performances that bring the characters to life.

"Okja" is a thought-provoking and emotional film that is sure to leave a lasting impact on its audience. The film received widespread critical acclaim, with many praising its blend of humor, drama, and social commentary. Bong Joon-ho once again proves himself as a master filmmaker, weaving a complex and powerful story that is both entertaining and meaningful. Whether you are an animal lover, an environmentalist, or just a fan of great filmmaking, "Okja" is a must-see.


"Mother" (2009) is a South Korean psychological thriller film directed by Bong Joon-ho. The film follows a single mother, who is devoted to her mentally disabled son, Do-joon. When Do-joon is accused of murder, the mother embarks on a journey to prove his innocence, which leads to a series of revelations about the crime and the people involved.

The film features a powerful performance by veteran South Korean actress Kim Hye-ja, who plays the titular role of the mother. Kim’s portrayal of the loving and determined mother is both heart-warming and heartbreaking, as she sacrifices everything to save her son. The film also highlights the themes of maternal love and the unequal treatment of people with disabilities in society.

Bong Joon-ho masterfully directs the film, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats with twists and turns throughout the story. The cinematography is stunning, capturing the beauty of the rural landscape and the eerie atmosphere of the town. "Mother" (2009) is a beautifully crafted film that explores the depths of human emotion and the lengths to which a mother will go to protect her child.

The film was a critical and commercial success, receiving several awards and nominations. Bong Joon-ho’s direction and Kim Hye-ja’s performance were widely praised, cementing the film's place as a classic in South Korean cinema. If you are a fan of suspenseful thrillers, "Mother" (2009) is a must-watch film that will leave a lasting impression.

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About the Creator

Subin @vocal

Not a Regular Blogger. But loves to share my thoughts, movie and drama recommentations.

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