When I heard a movie rose to a crescendo by bagging four awards at the Oscars this year, I knew I needed to have that movie on my big screen, making a hit with my eyes and mind as well.
Parasite! Yes, that is it! the gut-twisting comedy thriller directed by Bong Joon-ho tours the train of thought amid the poor and how desperate times can trigger disjointed measures.
Mere taking the movie title for face value, one would think that its one of those alien invasions or virus movies, but it’s not. Like in plain terms, the word parasite refers to an organism that lives in or on an organism of another species (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense. Now relate this to the human setting.
Co-written by Han Jin-won, Parasite is a film about two families, both a far cry away from each other in the social-economic sphere, the rich and the poor. The rich play a subliminal host and the poor in perfected deceit play the parasite. What happens when the parasite discovers there is another parasite feasting on its host? Will they cooperate or allow greed to finetune their fate?
The poor family is referred to as the Kim family. They comprise of the father Ki-taek, mother Chung-sook, daughter Ki-jung and son Ki-woo. The four struggle to make ends meet through a shallow paying part-time pizza box folders job done in their small apartment situated in the impoverished part of the city.
Luck smiles on the son Ki-woo, who with the help of a friend is found worthy to tutor the rich, Mr. and Mrs. Parks daughter, Park Da-hye. To cut the long story short, he manipulates the home and paves way for the rest of his family members through ulterior and hoodwinking routes.
As usual, no spoilers but more than enough pointers indicating why you should watch Parasite.
- A Clear View of Capitalism: Parasite’s storyline goes beyond just telling a story for the sake of making a film. It’s brilliant narrative centers on the practice of capitalism in South Korean culture. It depicts the wealth gap and financial limitations in a clear-cut sensitive way that makes it relatable to anyone watching no matter where they hail from.
- Being Poor Is Not A Prerequisite For Humility: Just like not all heroes wear capes, not every poor person you see is humble. If you think that because a poor man has nothing, he will be at your beck and call then you might need to watch your back. Yes, he might actually give his all to serve you just to get food on his table; his hidden intentions might be a bitter pill to swallow. A similar case is the Kim family, take a look at how without remorse, they eliminated everyone who stood in their way just to secure a premium spot in the Parks house. And the Parks couldn’t smell the coffee because they were blinded by their feign humility.
- Greed Is Not A Financial Issue. It’s A Heart Issue: Familiar with the popular saying ‘When a man has money, his true colors start to show’, this resonates with Kim family. Their case can be likened to someone having a taste of honey from a jar which is not theirs and then not wanting anyone else to have a taste even if the owner of the jar would not mind. Kim family and the ex-house keeper Moon-gwang and her husband could have lived peacefully in the same house but they chose to indulge in a senseless fight which resulted in a tragedy. It just goes to show that greed is not a financial issue but a heart issue. Both families already have their minds polluted with greed that no matter the convenience they got, it will not be enough.
Parasite is a movie whose scenes stick in your head after watching it. It is a blend of laudable directing, exemplary story writing, skilled acting from the cast, and astounding cinematography.
It won four awards at the 2020 Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best International Feature Film. It also became the first South Korean film to receive an Academy Award for Best Picture. Its achievements are so many feathers in Bong Joon-ho’s cap.
You can’t afford bath breaks while watching Parasite because of its metaphorical written script, directing and production. You snooze, you lose! But that won’t happen because the intriguing scenes from stage one down to the surreal experience from the middle till the end will get you sunk in connection. In short, it’s a stroke of genius!