“Parasite” is a 2019 South Korean film directed by Bong Joon-ho, who also wrote the film’s story and co-wrote the screenplay with Han Jin-won. It’s advertised as a dark comedy, but personally, I see it more as a thriller. It won the Palme D’Or at Cannes this year, and it’s made by the same person who did Snowpiercer, so I wanted to see it ever since I first heard of it.
I’m so happy I did. “Parasite” is an amazing story about the differences between social classes in Korea (but I think it could be applied to any other country). After Ki-woo takes over his friend’s job as an English tutor for the daughter of the wealthy Park family, he gradually integrates his own family into the Park residence without them knowing. His sister becomes the art therapist for the youngest son, his dad is the driver, and his mother is hired as the new maid. Things get complicated when a former employee threatens to expose the fraud family to the Parks.
I won’t go too much into detail because…well, the script is the one of the best things about this movie. It starts out as a comedy of sorts, then halfway through, the dark elements start creeping in and it comes in full thriller mode. To go beyond the setup of the story would be to spoil it, and you need to see for yourself. Not only for the bloody mess, but also for the development of the relationships.
That’s one other strong point of “Parasite”. It not only shows you the differences about living in the wealthy or the poor part of town, but it also highlights the different mindsets and the prejudices that some have about the others. How the poor are willing to do anything to live and prosper (like falsifying documents and lying). Or how the rich always look down on the poor (there’s a sad scene where the Parks gossip about the driver’s smell…of rotten radish).
I wasn’t too happy of the fact that the movie mostly focused on the male figures (the fathers and the son), but at least the mother of the wealthy family was also showcased (although in a non-flattering way).
Visually, “Parasite” was stunning. It reminded me of Park Chan-wook’s style, especially when it came to the thriller and horror aspects of it. Not a fan of the genre, but I was mesmerized by the cinematography of this film. The direction was wonderful (nothing to fault it) and the acting was fantastic (with the exception of the Kim mother, who somehow annoyed the crap out of me; maybe because she was the least developed character out of all of them).
In conclusion, I think you should definitely go see “Parasite”. It’s weird, thrilling and the story is very interesting.
p.s. Big chances to win the Oscar for the Best Foreign Film!