By Tanya Sheremeta (Kyiv, Ukraine)
You’ve probably heard about the movie what got Oskar. To be honest before seeing Parasite, I thought that this movie was overrated. I also realised that I had to watch movie with subtitles because it’s South Korean movie. However, I’d like to tell you why this movie is relevant to discuss now and if it worth watching.
The movie was released on 30 May 2019 in South Korea, but in the USA it was released on 8 November 2019. The main director is Bong Joon-ho, who you probably know if you saw Okja, Snowpiercer, The Host or Memories of Murder. Parasite won a lot of international rewards such as Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards, Palme d’Or and others. South Korean movie got an international recognition and became popular among almost all countries. Its production budget consisted about $11 million, but it grossed over $266 million worldwide.
The opening scene in Parasite shows us the poverty of the Kim family. They live in a tiny semi-basement apartment and they cannot even afford their own Wi-Fi, they are forced to search for free access to the Internet. They don’t have a full-time job and they barely make a living. I’d like to say that the problem of unemployment is typical for South Korea and there are hundreds of educated people with diplomas applying for the position of security guard. Bong Joon-ho tried to exhibit the difficult life of average person who cannot succeed in.
There is the other family which completely differs from this one. The Park family is a rich one. Their spacious residence shown in the opposition to Kim’s small apartment. The Parks are a little gullible, especially Choi Yeon-gyo (mother of the Park family).
The only way these families could have something in common would be hiring people to cater for Park family’s needs. So, the Kims are ready for making sneaky actions only to get a job.
I’d like to draw your attention to the light in the movie. It has a leading role and symbolical meaning. Park’s family is lit by yellow light symbolizing their wealth and opulence while Kim’s apartment lit by green or dark colors symbolizing poorness of the family. The building, where the movie’s actions occur, was specially designed and built to have a right lightening.
The storytelling is smooth and it will not allow to watcher to be bored. Scenes are full of jokes, (you’ll like them if you’re a fan of black comedy). I’d like to say that plot twist toward the end of the movie was really unexpected and it made me analyze the character’s contemplation at that moment to understand the necessity to make such a thing.
Music to accompany the film was written by Jung Jae-il, South Korean composer. Every song (there are 25 ones) reflects peoples’ feelings and it makes you be worried about characters.
Probably, the main question of the movie is, are the Kims really parasites? At the first sight, yes. However, they do their job and to be honest they are good at it. From the other side, when the Parks family returns, the Kims hide in the shadow and try to escape. This scene resembles to the cockroaches’ behavior. So, are they parasites? Maybe it’s Parks family? Why? Maybe this assumption can make sense because of their incapability to do even simple things like cooking, cleaning a room or driving a car and their exploitation of other people. I think the question of who is parasite can be interpreted in different ways.
The final scene isn’t unambiguous because someone can confuse the dream with the reality. We don’t know precisely what happened or what happens to the characters, but this is a good opportunity to think about their destiny on our own.
I advise this movie should be viewed by people interested in social inequality problems.