Revisiting “Parasite”


Annie Baxter, Staff Writer

The film Parasite released in 2019 had been one, if not the most, influential movie during this time. The film directed by Bong Joon-ho tackles multiple issues such as social class inequality, wealth disparity, and more within the short span of two hours and twelve minutes. This film is able to bring important world problems, black comedy, and plot twists no one expects into one perfectly cohesive story that has people on the edge of their seats. 

Aside from the unique perspectives this film gives the audience, Parasite’s popularity grew even more from the shocking outcome of the 92nd Academy Awards. From the six Oscar nominations, the team walked home with four Oscars which includes, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film. From winning Best Picture, Parasite was the first non-English-language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. This is also the first South Korean film to earn the Academy’s attention out of the 92 years this award show has been premiering. Although the recognition for this film was necessary, it is also shocking that this is the first foreign film to win Best Picture in almost one hundred years. Which can be another factor behind the rising popularity of this film. 

The film follows the story of the Kim family, father Ki-taek, mother Chung-sook, daughter Ki-jung, and son Ki-woo who live in the basement of the apartment. Within their small house, they have one window that is level with the ground, giving them the perfect view of drunk people every night. Through the first couple of minutes of the film, it is evident that the Kim family struggles to make ends meet, having to do small paying jobs, such as folding pizza boxes. However, Ki-woo is given a golden opportunity to tutor a wealthy family’s daughter, Da-hye, in English for his friend who will study abroad. To get this job, Ki-woo must pose as a college student to make himself look better. This only starts the downward spiral of Kim’s family life after Ki-woo is hired by the influential and extremely wealthy Park family. As time goes on, the entire Kim family slowly infiltrates the Park family by coming up with increasingly more thought-out plans to take over the current workers’ jobs. By posing as highly qualified, the Park family readily hired every member of the Kim family as their old workers suddenly became unqualified out of nowhere. With their new lives, the Kim family is living in luxury, all having high-paying jobs by lying to the Park family. However, their new life does not last long as the second part of the movie spirals into a thriller filled with plot twists as the audience watches the downfall of everyone.

Throughout this film, there are so many different hints and symbolism that it is impossible to find them after only watching the film once. For example, there is a consistent stair motif shown throughout the movie. As the Kim family starts their life even lower than ground level, showing that they are part of the lowest class. However, to get to the Park’s house there are multiple staircases that someone must walk up to get to their house. This shows the high social status the Park’s have. As the movie goes on, the audience can watch the inner turmoil of the characters just from something as simple as if they are going up or down a staircase. Although this film shouldn’t be watched by younger kids, this is the perfect movie for people who love thrillers, drama, comedy, mystery, and more in one film. Parasite is a must-watch by everyone because just hearing about the movie will never allow someone to truly understand the masterpiece this film is. People can spend hours analyzing and interpreting this film without finding all of them still, with some of them more obvious than others. The multiple awards this film has won can speak for themselves, yet if people are still not convinced they are missing out on a movie that can never be repeated. This film is able to broaden the audience’s perspective on life, as it leaves people thinking about the true meaning of why this film was created.