Korean director Bong Joon Ho made history at the 92nd Academy Awards when his movie “Parasite
” won the Best Picture Oscar, the first foreign-language film ever to win. While the film’s title suggests it might belong to the horror or end of days genre, Parasite is a universal story of rich vs poor.
The poor family, the Kims [mother, father, daughter, son], live in a damp roach-infested basement and eek out a pretty grim existence. The misery of their hand to mouth existence was reminiscent of Hirokazu Koreeda’s Japanese film Shoplifters (2018)
, also worth a watch. The Kims’ luck seems to turn when Ki-woo, the son is presented with an offer by his college friend to take on his English tutoring gig while he travels abroad.
Enter the rich family, the Parks, who live in a stunning architect-designed house that becomes a character in the story. No sooner has Ki-woo entrenched himself into the Park household is his family scheming to replace all other household staff. We’re told early on that the Parks are naive so while we can snigger at the relative ease the Kims manage to hoodwink their employers, we mustn’t overlook how disposable the previously loyal staff have become.
While the Parks go camping, the Kims run amok in their employer’s home until an unwanted guest arrives at the door and a rainstorm wreaks havoc. The movie turns from happy-go-lucky hoodwinking to desperate measures to get what you want or to avoid exposure. Ki-woo’s aspiration or desperation to belong versus the Park’s father’s revulsion of the poor makes for pretty harrowing social commentary. As Bong Joon Ho says, hope is the emotional parasite in the film.
Founding Contributor at WTFisArt
My interests are primarily in theatre and film but I'm trying hard to not just look but to see art. I've dismissed far too much art over the years because I didn't understand it or give it the time and space to affect me. I'm trying to change that.
Theatre was my first love. It all started with the One-Act and 3-Act AmDram festivals in our local theatre to get out of the house to smoke cigarettes on school nights. It wasn’t long before I had graduated onto the Class As in the Abbey, Peacock, Project, Tivoli and even more fringe events and locations. It’s physical. Being present with the cast, the crew, the soundscape of mutters, coughs, and gasps from the audience; the dust, the set, the murmur murmur hum before curtain. Pure energy. I can forgive anything — set, direction, costumes, props, performance — except bad writing.
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