Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite - a thought-provoking satire

Parasite is one of the best satires on the harsh socio-economic realities in this world.


Photo credit: Filmspell.com

Priyanka Giri

The 2020 Oscar-winning film outlines the story of the wealthy Park family in contrast to the poverty-stricken Kim household. It might sound simple, but the two-hour long Korean thriller-comedy did not fail to keep us on the edge of our seats.

Deep-rooted themes are presented through the story and combined with masterful direction and a musical score, Parasite is a true masterpiece. This was proven when, at the 92nd Academy Awards in 2020, Parasite became the first-ever foreign language film to win Best Picture.

The entire setting of the film deserves much appreciation for accurately portraying the social status of the two families. The Kims, living in a semi-basement, struggle to make ends meet as they take on odd jobs like folding pizza boxes and rely on street-cleaning pesticides to keep their home clean. On the contrary, the affluent Parks have a beautiful mansion, with extensive lawns and scenic views, and rely on their house staff for all their daily routines.

The sheer brilliance of the movie lies in how the Kim family flawlessly manipulate and deceive the Parks, accurately depicting how an upper-class family can be gullible and easily swayed by a little extra buttering and “concern” from their apparent well-wishers.

“I was surprised that the family was so easy to trick.”
“(They’re) kind-hearted because (they’re) rich...Rich people are more naive”

Several scenes in the film depict worldly issues such as the rich-poor divide and social inequality and economic immobility. These instances highlight how human traits like greed and revenge can take over, resulting in some unfortunate and unforeseen consequences.

Just trying to avoid spoilers!

Love and compassion are beautifully portrayed in the movie, making the audience wonder - are the poor the ones with genuine passion and care for their kin? Are the rich more money-minded than we can imagine? Isn’t human compassion and understanding equally important at the end of the day? The film has many such scenes that leave the audience with a whole lot of pondering to do.

While such harsh realities are brought to light, a gripping storyline is maintained, showing the Kim family clawing their way in like a parasite, into the Park’s world.

Every aspect of the film is as steadfastly unexpected from one to the next. And of course, the ending is, yes, you guessed it right, the most unexpected yet! Parasite would be one of the films that one could watch over and over, getting as mesmerized and more deeply involved with every watch.

“Once you overcome the 1-inch tall barrier of subtitles you will be introduced to such amazing films,” Bong Joon-ho rightly said, after winning the Oscars.

To anyone who still hasn’t watched this masterpiece, what are you waiting for? Enjoy!

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