Parasite (2019): Smartly & Brilliantly Explores Inequality Theme

Parasite is a Korean language dark comedy from South Korea. In this masterpiece movie, its acclaimed writer and director Bong Joon Ho takes a microscopic look at the issues of ever-widening inequality in our societies.

We know that the chasm between the rich and poor is growing around the world. This poignant movie, with its innovative storytelling, has made it difficult, for us to take sides and decide – who is the actual parasite – is it rich people or poor folks? That’s the question and you will have to find your own answers after watching the movie.

Parasite movie:- synopsis

Meet the Park Family: the picture of aspirational wealth.

And the Kim Family, rich in street smarts but not much else.

Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kims sense a golden opportunity. Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo, the Kim children expediently install themselves as a tutor and art therapist, to the Park family. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. The Kims provide “indispensable” luxury services while the Parks obliviously bankroll their entire household.

When a parasitic interloper threatens the Kims’ newfound comfort, a savage, underhanded battle for dominance breaks out, threatening to destroy the fragile ecosystem between the Kims and the Parks.

Parasite movie:- {Spoilers Free} review

While watching this movie, I was reminded of a popular prayer that goes like this: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” The widespread domination of capitalism and materialism has only increased in recent years, especially with globalisation taking deeper roots in our societies, worldwide. So our basic needs are limited however our wants and desires are insatiable and unlimited. And these are causing a grave class divide.

Talking about the reality of the divide between the Rich and Poor, Bong Joon-ho has this to say:

“In reality, it’s very rare for the poor and rich to come [that] close.* [In society] we operate in completely different [areas]. In flights we have first class and the economy, we go to different restaurants, we’re always separated in the spaces that we occupy. Only when they’re working as tutors, drivers, and housekeepers do we have the opportunity to come close to each other. (*So close they can ‘smell’ each other, ‘smell’ being a common referent in the film.)

Bong Joon-ho | Writer & Director

“Parasite” – I think the title of the movie is apt. It is an organism that attaches to a host and feeds off of it from the inside of that host. Because the poor Kim family can’t gain wealth, their family is forced to feed off of the wealth and resources of a much richer Park family, while living inside their house. It is also worth noting that the Park family is in their own way parasites; each family member is in sore need of a companion, as they can’t rely on each other properly and they always seek validation and support from the others.

Thus, this Korean film smartly and brilliantly explores the inequity and inequality themes – the ever-widening chasm between the two classes – Rich and Poor.

I was completely blown away by its layered and genre-bending storytelling about the harsh realities. Also, the handling of a complex theme of inequality in an innovative manner in the movie. To conclude, I must honestly admit that found this movie to be darkly tragic-comedic and heart-breaking. But it tells an important tale of our times – the universal themes of ever-widening inequity and inequality in our society.

Back home in India, inequity and inequality between the Rich and Poor have always existed in our society, be it of a social and/or economic nature. Besides the issues of income and wealth inequality, India has a harsh reality of caste inequity too. But, we shall not delve into the caste system, that complicated socio-economic structure in Indian society. Maybe, we shall discuss casteism and caste-systems of India, in other articles.

Parasite movie:- details

GenreDrama, Thriller
Age-restrictionsA (18+)
Original titleKorean title 기생충 (gisaengchung) it means Helminth / Parasitic worm.
Original languageKorean
ReleasedMay 2019
WritersBong Joon Ho, Han Jin-won
DirectorBong Joon Ho
TaglinesMisplaced Familyhood
CastSong Kang-ho, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-sik, Park So-dam, etc.
AwardsCannes Film Festival 2019 – Winner Palme d’Or – Bong Joon Ho (It is the first Korean film to ever win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival besides it won unanimously at Cannes)
Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2019 – Winner – Asia Pacific Screen Award – Best Film – Kwak Sin-ae, Yang-kwon Moon, Young-hwan Jang
Academy Awards, USA 2020 – Winner – Oscar – Best Motion Picture of the Year – Kwak Sin-ae, Bong Joon Ho (Parasite (2019) is the first foreign language film to win Best Picture.
Academy Awards, USA 2020 – Winner – Oscar – Best Achievement in Directing – Bong Joon Ho
Academy Awards, USA 2020 – Winner – Oscar – Best Original Screenplay – Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin-won
Academy Awards, USA 2020 – Winner – Oscar – Best International Feature Film – South Korea
BAFTA Awards 2020 – Winner BAFTA Film Award – Best Screenplay (Original) – Han Jin-won, Bong Joon Ho
BAFTA Awards 2020 – Winner BAFTA Film Award – Best Film Not in the English Language – Bong Joon Ho
Screen Actors Guild Awards 2020 – Winner – Actor – Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture – Jang Hye-jin, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-sik, Jung Hyun-jun, Jung Ji-so, Lee Jeong-eun, Lee Sun-kyun, Park Myeong-hoon, Park So-dam, Song Kang-ho
About – Parasite film.

Parasite movie:- poster

Parasite film – poster

Parasite movie:- ratings

FM’s rating4.55/5
IMDb rating as of the date8.50/10
Rotten Tomatoes ratings as of the date99% Tomatometer & 90% Audience Score
Critics Consensus / Rotten Tomatoes An urgent, brilliantly layered look at timely social themes, Parasite finds writer-director Bong Joon Ho in near-total command of his craft.
FM, IMDb & Rotten Tomatoes ratings – Parasite film.

Parasite movie:- trailer

Official trailer – Parasite film | YouTube.

If you like the Parasite film from South Korea, then check out the Bheed movie from India, as it also explores the theme of inequality, in the Indian context.

Featured & Other Images: Parasite – 기생충 | IMDb.