Movie Review: Parasite (2019)

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(New York Times)

The movie Parasite, directed by Bong Joon-ho, speaks about the strong division that exists in a society based on class hierarchy. It also illustrates to the audience how the dynamics of this segregation peels away humanity within society. 

The family of Ki Woo consists of qualified yet severely unemployed members. One day when his friend visits him with a job offer at a rich employer’s house, Woo establishes a plan that will change the fate of his family forever. 

This Oscar-winning movie displays a fantastic narration in every aspect of the film. It provides a solid shape to each of its characters, while the shades of good and bad come and go as each character fights for survival. Every character is filled with strong desires, and to achieve them they are ready to do anything without thinking about the consequences.

In this way, Parasite points to a highly capitalistic world where everybody wishes to gain more than what they have, without any gratitude to this world we live in. The sharp script filled with hidden meanings puts the audience in an enigma.

This movie can be also viewed from a Kafka-esque angle. Franz Kafka was one of the influential authors of the late twentieth century, who wrote books emphasizing existentialism. There is a strong essence of absurdism and questioning of the existence of human life throughout the film.

The overall tone of the movie is impressive because it keeps the audience thrilled, with the plot twisting the audience into puzzle after puzzle. The narration of the movie reflects the real life of ordinary people where we move from one perspective to another.

The script of the movie deserves great appreciation because it discusses many important issues such as the impact of colonialism over Indigenous people, the unending lineage of poverty, and the conflict between nations, all with a limited set of characters. The director clearly shows the audience how rich and poor are divided in a society with the help of nothing but rain. Boon Jho Hoo’s ability to convey a very complicated political issue between nations with a simple joke is immensely impressive. 

When I tell you the entire nutshell of the movie can be read from the first three minutes of the movie it is not an exaggeration at all. At the end of the second minute, we see that Woo’s father is flicking a bug that is sitting on his table. Throughout the film, we face the question of how we differ from a parasite or even a bug. Just like that bug, we came into this Earth, digest its resources and then slowly start to destroy it.

We see this form of existence in every stratum of society. If one could observe the basic identity of power, we can realize that there is power only because there are powerless. In other words, the existence of power is exhibited by flicking the powerless.

In this scene, the victim is a bug but who the real victim is in this movie is for the audience to find out.

Emily is in her fourth year of Political Science. She loves studying and academics which follows into her research work. She's a stern black coffee drinker and is a proud Acadienne. When she's not working or doing school work, you can find Emily listening to 70s music on vinyl and watching Parks and Recreation. If you ask her about parliamentary institutions, she won't stop talking.