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  • Writer's pictureAllan Major

Parasite 2019 Reviewed

Updated: 5 days ago

Featured Image For Parasite 2019 Reviewed. Promotional poster for the film 'Parasite', showcasing a contrasting scene of leisure and lurking figures, indicative of the film's themes of class disparity.
The line between the haves and the have-nots blurs in 'Parasite', where hidden agendas and sinister motives lay just beneath the surface of civility.

In the tapestry of cinema, there are films that linger like whispers in the twilight, their tendrils burrowing into our psyche. Such is Bong Joon-ho's visceral masterpiece, "Parasite," a film that pulsates with the fever dream of class conflict and the unsettling underbelly of desire. A cinematic punch to the gut, it's a film that slices open the glossy veneer of modern society, exposing the worm squirming within.

Parasite 2019 Key Takeaways

  • The illusion of social mobility: The Kim family, despite their cunning and resourcefulness, ultimately find themselves trapped by the limitations of their social class. The film suggests that the system is rigged, making it nearly impossible for those on the bottom to truly break free.

  • Desperation breeds exploitation: Both the Kim and Park families exploit each other. The Kims exploit the Park's naivete and wealth, while the Parks exploit the desperation of the Kims, paying them meagerly for their services. This highlights the toxic cycle of those struggling, preying on those who have more, who in turn keep those below suppressed.

  • The dehumanizing effects of wealth inequality: The vast disparity in wealth between the two families leads to a dehumanization of the poor. The Parks, while not intentionally malicious, are blind to the struggles of the Kims, seeing them as disposable servants rather than individuals with their own needs and dreams.

  • The performative nature of class: The Kims meticulously study and adopt the mannerisms and behaviors of the wealthy, highlighting the fragility of class distinctions. However, they can never fully escape the lingering "scent" of their origins.

  • The latent violence of class conflict: The film's brutal climax suggests that extreme wealth disparity breeds an underlying potential for violence. The resentment of the lower classes can simmer into a destructive force when pushed too far.

  • The blindness of privilege: The Park family's obliviousness to their own privilege and the struggles of those around them underscores the isolating effects of extreme wealth. They live in a carefully constructed bubble, unaware of the harsh realities beyond their walls.

  • The systems, not individuals, are the problem: While both families act in questionable ways, the film ultimately positions the overarching economic system as the true villain. It's the system that fosters desperation, exploitation, and ultimately, violence.

Woman watches Parasite (2019) with a look of growing unease.
Something's not right in this house, and she can feel it in her bones.

The story worms its way into the life of the Kim family, inhabitants of a cramped semi-basement apartment. Their lives are a mosaic of meager odd jobs, folding pizza boxes for a delivery company and leeching off scraps of wi-fi. Fortune offers a sliver of light in the form of Ki-woo, the son, landing a coveted tutoring position at the extravagant Park household. Their sprawling mansion is a cathedral of wealth, an isolated bubble teeming with naïve opulence.

What begins as mere employment quickly spirals into infestation. Ki-woo's cunning opens the door, his charm greasing the wheels as one by one, the Kims worm their way into the lives of the oblivious Parks. Each member of the Kim family supplants a member of the Park's staff—schematically, strategically. Ki-taek, the patriarch, becomes the chauffeur, his wife Chung-sook the housekeeper, and his daughter, Ki-jung, the art tutor. It's a parasitic coup, a bloodless invasion.

The Kims become ghosts haunting the Park home, seamlessly adopting the roles of those they replaced. Yet, for all their cunning, they're haunted by their inherent scent—the scent of the semi-basement, a musty odor they desperately try to mask. It's here that Bong Joon-ho's genius shines brightest - a stark reminder that no matter how hard you try, you can't scrub away the stains of where you came from.

Like an intricate dance, the two families orbit one another, their lives teetering on the razor-thin line of deception. On the surface, there's the mockery of a symbiotic relationship – one needs servants, the other needs income. However, as the film hurtles towards its brutal climax, we realize it's a mirage. Bong twists the knife of social commentary, forcing us to confront the gaping chasm between the rich and the poor, a chasm filled with longing, contempt, and simmering rage.

Man watches the film Parasite (2019) with a look of mounting tension.
Every lie unravels a thread...and soon there won't be anything left to hold onto.

Parasite Should Inspire Us To Change Our Life

Bong's direction is a mesmerizing symphony of tension and release, peppered with moments of stark humor and outright dread. We're watching a meticulously constructed house of cards, each scene adding another delicate layer. Every frame aches with unspoken power dynamics; glances and gestures take on sinister meanings.

It's a film that demands your full attention. You might be tempted to look away during the film's more violent and grotesque turns, but don't. Bong forces us to witness the consequences of a society rotting from the inside, where desperation gives birth to monstrous acts. It's an indictment of our collective failure to address the ever-widening gap between those who have and those who yearn.

"Parasite" won countless awards and accolades, and rightly so. It's one of the best films of the year, possibly the decade. Bong has made several films about class ("Snowpiercer" and "Okja," to name a few), but "Parasite" may be his most daring examination of the structural inequity that has come to define the world. It's a masterpiece filled with so many twists, turns, and surprises that it's best experienced as blind as possible.

The film's ending, a whirlwind of blood and chaos, is sure to haunt viewers long after the credits roll. Is it a tragedy fueled by resentment or perhaps, a twisted form of justice? Bong leaves the answer lingering in the air, a question mark smeared in red. "Parasite" isn't just a movie; it's a reflection of the cracks in our world; a chilling reminder that the monsters we fear might just be those born from our own indifference.

And that was Parasite 2019 Reviewed. Another Modern Horror Movie that is sure to be a classic one day. 

Stay tuned for more horror movie reviews

If You Liked Parasite 2019 You Might Also Like These Films.

  • Burning (2018): Directed by Lee Chang-dong, this South Korean psychological thriller explores themes of class resentment, alienation, and mysterious disappearances. Like "Parasite", it offers a slow-burn descent into darkness, with an ambiguous ending that will spark plenty of discussions.

  • The Handmaiden (2016): This visually stunning and erotically-charged film from director Park Chan-wook ("Oldboy") centers on a con artist posing as a handmaiden to a wealthy heiress in Japanese-occupied Korea. It features shocking twists, shifting power dynamics, and explores themes of class and desire—all connections to "Parasite".

  • Shoplifters (2018): A heart-wrenching and poignant film by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda about a makeshift family who survive by shoplifting. "Shoplifters" and "Parasite" both address poverty and the lengths people will go to survive in a rigged system, but "Shoplifters" takes a more intimate and compassionate approach.

  • Knives Out (2019): This darkly comedic whodunnit by Rian Johnson is a perfect pick if you enjoyed the way "Parasite" subverted expectations. It follows a detective investigating the death of a wealthy mystery novelist among his dysfunctional, self-serving family. Both films have that playful blend of humor and sharp social commentary.

  • Get Out (2017): Jordan Peele's social horror masterpiece is a must-watch for fans of films that offer razor-sharp insights while delivering spine-chilling moments. Like "Parasite", it examines the insidious nature of privilege and the way seemingly welcoming spaces can mask something far more sinister.

Parasite 2019 Reviewed FAQs

Q: What is the movie "Parasite" about? 

A: "Parasite" is a South Korean thriller film directed by Bong Joon-ho. It follows the story of the Kim family, who live in a cramped semi-basement apartment and struggle financially. They cunningly scheme to become employed by the wealthy Park family, infiltrating their lives under false pretenses. This leads to increasingly dark, unsettling, and unexpected consequences.

Q: Who are the main characters in "Parasite"? 

A: The main characters in "Parasite" include:

The Kim family:

Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho): The patriarch, a former chauffeur struggling to find work.

Chung-sook (Chang Hyae-jin): His wife, resourceful but burdened by financial stress.

Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik): Their son, who becomes an English tutor for the Parks.

Ki-jung (Park So-dam): Their daughter, adept at forgery, who poses as an art therapist.

The Park family:

Dong-ik (Lee Sun-kyun): The affluent CEO and father.

Yeon-kyo (Cho Yeo-jeong): His naive and trusting wife.

Da-hye (Jung Ziso): Their teenage daughter, Ki-woo's student.

Da-song (Jung Hyeon-jun): Their young son, who is troubled and artistically inclined.

Q: What are some common themes in "Parasite"? 

A: Some common themes in "Parasite" include:

  • Social inequality and class divide: The film brutally depicts the vast gulf between the rich and the poor in South Korean society and beyond.

  • Greed and desperation: Both families make morally questionable choices driven by greed and the desire to survive or gain material comfort.

  • The performative nature of class: The Kims meticulously study and adopt the mannerisms and behaviors of the wealthy, highlighting how class markers can be imitated but not fully embodied.

  • The dehumanizing effects of wealth disparity: The Parks become blind to the Kims' struggles, seeing them more as disposable commodities than human beings.

Q: How has "Parasite" been received by critics? 

A: "Parasite" has received widespread critical acclaim. It won numerous accolades, including the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and became the first non-English language film to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Critics praised its storytelling, direction, performances, social commentary, and its ability to be both darkly humorous and shockingly brutal.

Q: What are some key highlights of the director Bong Joon-ho's work in "Parasite"? 

A: Director Bong Joon-ho excels in:

  • Cinematic storytelling: His masterful use of camera angles, symbolism, and carefully placed clues builds suspense and reveals hidden layers with each viewing.

  • Genre-bending: The film seamlessly shifts between tones, from dark comedy to social satire, thriller, and outright horror.

  • Portraying class contrast: He vividly depicts the stark differences between the lives of the Kims and the Parks through their homes, clothing, and even their scents.

Q: How do user reviews view "Parasite"? 

A: User reviews of "Parasite" also tend to be very positive. Audiences praise its originality, unpredictable plot, excellent acting, and thought-provoking themes that resonate deeply, especially related to wealth inequality.

Q: Will watching "Parasite" change your life? 

A: Whether "Parasite" will be truly life-changing is subjective. However, its powerful storytelling and unflinching social commentary have the potential to spark introspection, empathy, and conversations about the social and economic divides that exist around the world.


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