Parasite (2019) Movie: Brilliantly Explores Inequality Theme

Home » Movie Review » Parasite (2019) Movie: Brilliantly Explores Inequality Theme

Parasite is a Korean movie that brilliantly explores inequality themes in the modern era. This masterpiece dark comedy film delves into the wealth disparity in South Korea.

Its acclaimed writer and director Bong Joon Ho takes a microscopic look at the issues of ever-widening inequality in societies. The rich are getting richer and the poor struggle.

Synopsis [official] of the Parasite (2019) Movie

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.

Spoilers Free Review of the Parasite (2019) Movie

The introduction

We know that the chasm between the rich and poor is growing around the world. With its innovative storytelling, this poignant movie 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 answers after watching the movie.

Parasite – this movie title is apt

“Parasite” 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, they are 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 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.

Bong Joon-ho talks about the class divide

Talking about the reality of the divide between the Rich and Poor, he 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

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

Capitalism, globalisation and other big words

While watching this movie, we were 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.” As this film is set in South Korea, in a way, this film raises quite a few serious questions about Capitalism, Globalisation, Democracy, Big Corporations, etc.

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. These are causing a grave class divide. Similar realities exist in many other nations too.

Similar realities exist in India, too

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.

The conclusion

We were completely blown away by its layered and genre-bending storytelling about the harsh realities. Also, the handling of a complex theme of disparity in an innovative manner in the movie. To conclude, we 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. It is a must-watch for lovers of intelligent and thoughtful movies.

Ratings of the Parasite (2019) movie

FM’s rating4.55/5
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 & Rotten Tomatoes ratings – Parasite film.

Poster of the Parasite (2019) Movie

Parasite (2019) film – poster

Key details about the Parasite (2019) Movie

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.
About – Parasite (2019) film.

Trailer of the Parasite (2019) Movie

Official trailer – Parasite (2019) film | YouTube.

Awards won by the Parasite (2019) Movie

Awards NamesAwards Winners
Cannes Film Festival 2019Asia Pacific Screen Award Winner – Best Film – Kwak Sin-ae, Yang-Kwon Moon, Young-hwan Jang
Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2019Asia Pacific Screen Award Winner – Best Film – Kwak Sin-ae, Yang-kwon Moon, Young-hwan Jang
Academy Awards, USA 2020Oscar Winner – Best Motion Picture of the Year – Kwak Sin-ae, Bong Joon Ho (Parasite is the first foreign language film to win Best Picture)
Winner – Oscar – Best Achievement in Directing – Bong Joon Ho
Oscar Winner – Best Original Screenplay – Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin-won
Winner – Oscar – Best International Feature Film – South Korea
BAFTA Awards 2020Winner BAFTA Film Award – Best Screenplay (Original) – Han Jin-won, Bong Joon Ho
BAFTA Film Award Winner – Best Film Not in the English Language – Bong Joon Ho
Screen Actors Guild Awards 2020Winner – 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
Awards – Parasite (2019) Film

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.

Discover more from Focus Magazine

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Scroll to Top