PARASITE : An intricate examination of class conflict

A South Korean class- conscious thriller movie released in 2019 which smashed the international box office with its genre-defying aspect. The film has engaged a whirlwind of publicity by winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival and taking home maximum awards at the Oscars 2020.

A story of two families from opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum in one frame. We first meet the miserably destitute Kim family of four living in a squalid semi-basement apartment. They press against the ceiling to tap a free wifi and desperately need to connect themselves to something high off the ground. Their lives takes an unexpected turn when teenage son, Ki-woo receives an opportunity to take over as a home tutor for the Parks’ daughter, Da-hye. On the other hand, is the prosperous Park family who lived in a magnificent, modernist mansion in a hilly Seoul suburb.

The aloof Park patriarch, Dong-ik is the head of some faceless IT company, while his stay-at-home wife, Yeon-gyo frets about their troubled children. A lifestyle that relies upon hired help: tutors, a chauffer and, most importantly, a devoted housekeeper who stayed with the family. When the Kim’s son realizes that his own family could easily fill such roles, he hatches a plan that will inveigle them into the privileged lives and home of the Parks.

It’s not long before the entire family has infiltrated the Park household thereby, justifying the hugely instructive title. When the Parks go on a camping trip, the indigent family move in and savor the luxury and peace. After a symbolic rain causes the symbolic sewers to overflow and symbolically flood the Kim’s symbolic basement apartment, the sequence terminates as a melancholy ghost story.

A remarkably well-edited film, the rhythms and pace guiding viewers through the chosen themes. Bong gives the film an extraordinary bittersweet ending and that’s what makes its final moments so alarming, and so haunting. At the heart of Parasite is the most gnawing evolutionary fear of all, the inability to protect one’s family. Who are the real parasites? The Kim’s that benefits from the wealth of others or the Parks, a family who is unable to complete basic tasks without servants to refine their lives despite endless fortune.

A movie from an unfamiliar part of the world that paints an uncannily familiar picture that has achieved recognition also from that section of audience who don’t normally tolerate subtitles. It is something that will get under your skin and touch the cinematic soul in every way possible

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