Meghna Sharma, Panchkula, Haryana
What comes to your mind when I say the word ‘PARASITE’? Well, if you paid attention in your biology lecture back in the school days, you must be familiar with this word as an organism that benefits at the expense of another organism. But why biology all of a sudden, you ask? This movie is somewhat similar to that symbiotic relationship.
Parasite is a 2019 South Korean, thriller-suspense movie directed by Bong Joon-ho, and co-written with Han Ji-won. The amazing and talented cast includes Song Kang-ho (as Kim Ki-taek), Lee Sun-kyun (as Park Dong-ik), Cho Yeo-jeong (as Choi Yeon-gyo), Choi Woo-shik (as Kim Ki-woo), Park So-dam (as Kim Ki-jung), Jang Hye-jin (as Chung-sook), and Lee Jung-eun (as Gook Moon-gwang).
The movie revolves around the two main families: The KIMs and The PARKs. The Kim family consists of father Ki-taek, mother Chung-sook, daughter Ki-jung and son Ki-woo, who lives in a small semi-basement apartment, work as pizza box folders which makes little amount for the whole family while relying on unprotected Wi-Fi networks and live in an uncertain life. The Park family consists of mother Yeon-gyo, father Dong-ik, daughter Da-hye, and son Da-song, on the other hand, are an upper-class family who lives in a lavish house and have everything one can dream of.
Ki-woo’s friend before he left to study abroad gives him a scholar’s rock, which is meant to promise wealth and recommends he should take over his job as an English tutor for the Park family’s daughter Da-hye. He forges credentials and poses as a reputed university student and gets hired by the Park family. He becomes the only family member to earn well. That makes their desire corrupt and they plan a scheme to earn/extract more money from the wealthy family. The Kim family recommends themselves as unrelated and highly qualified workers to take over as servants of the Parks. The Kim family adapts very well to their respective roles of English teacher, Art therapist as Jessica, Chauffeur, and Housekeeper in the Park family and starts earning a good amount of money.
One day, the Parks go on a camping trip leaving the whole house to her housekeeper (Kim–woo’s mother). Since the house was empty, the whole Kim family enjoys the luxuries of their residence and starts assuming this opulent house as their own. While they were so immersed in their dreams, they hear the doorbell and that’s when the story takes a turn. The twist and turns in this movie not only make your jaw drop but also keeps you engulfed in the story because trust me you do not know what awaits you till the end.
Why You Should Watch?
One of the riveting things about this movie is you cannot predict how the story takes a turn and leaves you all baffled. Bong Joon-ho delivers a brilliantly styled portrait of class and fate. The Kim family’s deception works flawlessly. The director delineates masterfully that the word ‘Parasite’ has a double meaning. Once the Kim’s are employed in the Park household, they begin to assume more of this fabricated identity of wealth and on the other hand, the Park family use their money to exploit poor families with their cheap labour. In a way, they too are parasites.
The director exquisitely reveals the classism and contrast in the quality of life between the rich and poor in the movie by showing the multi-level, luxurious home of the Park family with the modern gadgets, at the top of the hill while the Kim family living below street-level in a semi-basement.
Accolades and Recognition
When I first saw the movie, I had no idea about what I was in for. But as the movie escalated, I was always on the edge of my seat with my heart racing. The director successfully made the viewers feel like they are part of the movie. It is a truly exceptional film that lives up to immense praise. Every set-up is paid off, every progression is carefully timed. Parasite has proven to be a groundbreaking achievement for South Korean movies. Director Bong Joon-ho became the first South-Korean filmmaker to win Best Director at The Academy Awards.
Parasite was not just the first South Korean film to win the foreign language prize at the Oscars but also the first foreign language from any country to win the overall best picture prize. The first South Korean movie to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Parasite was the first film since Marty in 1995, to win the top prize of both the Oscars and The Cannes Film Festival. Also, this masterpiece broke several financial records as well.
Well, you must be wondering who are the real parasites. The poor who attach themselves to the rich or the rich who suck every drop of blood left of the poor with their money. If you are in the mood for a top-notch movie, what are you waiting for? Also, how can I forget the famous Jessica Jingle? Don’t worry, you will be affected by the infectious Jessica jingle by the end of the movie just like every other person.