• Anthony Aguirre

Parasite: A Movie Review (Spoiler-Free)



The South Korean film, Parasite, (directed by Bong Joon Ho) is centered around greed and class discrimination between the rich Park family and destitute Kim clan as they form an an interesting symbiotic relationship. The Kim clan are members of a poor household scheming to become employees of a much wealthier family by pretending to be highly qualified individuals and strangers to one another. From my personal experience, this film is something you would want to go see without prior knowledge, as I had done. Doing so left all of the amazing elements the film (directorial work, symbolism, acting, and twists) to catch me completely off guard and successfully left me in awe. So if you’re trying to go see Parasite, just stop reading. Right now.

The movie is a public message for the poor and the wealthy hidden within symbolism from both the characters and setting of the movie as class warfare is on full display in this provocative and outstanding film, long defined with the theme of pervasive intrusions. Joon-ho’s filmography consists of his otherwise odd creature films, such as Netflix’s Okja (2017), The Host (2006), and crime-drama Memories of Murder each of which are quite remarkable in their own ways, but Parasite is perhaps his finest work to date. His film received the highest award, the Palme d’Or, at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. [The literal highest award you can ever achieve in film] It was the first Korean film to do so successfully, receiving the first unanimous vote since 2013’s Blue is the Warmest Colour. The film even earned 6 Academy Awards this year.

This film is also by far his most daring examination of the structural inequity that has come to define the world. The film takes many convoluted turns that makes the audience really question what type of movie they’re really watching. Some would think it would end up sinking the project, but somehow Joon Ho is able to hold it all together in one breathtaking masterpiece of a film.

The Kim Clan is the most prime example of family living on the edge of poverty, that is, until their lives change for the better. Their relationship with the rich Park family very much resembles that of a parasite infecting a host (hence the film’s title), slowly festering under their very noses until. There are many metaphors and narratives that show what really happens underneath about how the rich live off the poor through their work and labor. [The film never fails to remind the audience and certainly the protagonists in many ways you can’t possibly see coming] Along with the many brilliant parallels between the two families, such as contracts between the cramped, dirty, basement-like home of the Kim family and the spacious, clean, empty spaces of the Park family’s. Or when the Kim Clan migrates out of said home and into the Parks’ only to find themselves back into the same exact situation in a way I can’t explain without spoiling the biggest twist of the movie. You’ve never seen a movie quite as remarkable as Parasite, there’s so much to analyze that every aspect of a movie can become a conversation starter in ways many people, including myself, have trouble talking about without spoiling the best parts of the movie, which is practically the entire movie. Yes, it’s that amazing and it’s the type of movie you absolutely must see for yourself to completely understand.