Movie Review: Parasite (기생충) ⛰️

Parasite (기생충) poignantly translates the social issue of poverty through the lens of a family of four.


From left to right: Choi Woo-shik, Song Kang-ho, Jang Hye-jin and Park So-Dam star in Parasite (기생충). CREDIT: CJ Entertainment

This post for Parasite (기생충) is spoiler-free.

Parasite (2019, directed by Bong Joon-ho) is one of the most mind-boggling films I have ever watched. The critically acclaimed South Korean film follows the lives of a family of four, who are struggling to keep afloat financially, as all of them are unable to find jobs.

From a western standpoint, Parasite follows the likes of director Jordan Peele, who metaphorically translated racial and social issues into his first two films—Get Out and Us. But even though Parasite consists of deeply rooted meanings in its core story, unlike Peele’s films—in particular, Us—the allegory isn’t as complex to grasp, as director Bong combines story, imagery and music to tell a meaningful story to audiences.

The only other work of Bong’s that I’ve watched is his 2017’s Okja, which was a really touching story about a girl and a CGI-ed pig named Okja. But in that film, Hollywood actors like Tilda Swinton and more are part of the cast, and well-coordinated action sequences are included, thus making the film feel more like a Hollywood blockbuster rather than a socially motivated one.

The performances in Parasite are excellent. The emotional capacity of each actor greatly complements the film perfectly, proving that South Korea is filled with a pool of talented individuals and Bong does not need to work with Hollywood stars in order to deliver yet another fulfilling film.

Parasite is definitely Bong’s most gripping film to date. At first glance of the film’s promotional materials, it may look like it is from the horror genre—but I can assure you that the only thing terrifying about Parasite is the fact that you will leave the theatre feeling overwhelmed by how closely it reflects today’s society.

Rating: 5/5

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