Film review: “Parasite” explores loyalty and relationships

Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” had been hailed as one of the best films of the year even before it hit theaters in the United States. The film contains elements from a wide variety of genres, especially thrillers and black comedies. Bong’s previous directorial endeavors like “Snowpiercer” and “Okja” have found success in the United States, and it looks like “Parasite” will be just as lucrative. 

“Parasite” is a South Korean thriller about an unemployed lower-class family who manages to find employment in the home of a wealthy family. The film premiered at Cannes, where it won the prestigious Palme d’Or. Some moviegoers may be turned off by the fact that the film is in Korean, but missing out on one of the most unique and genuinely enjoyable films of the year would be extremely regrettable. 

The audience is introduced to the lower-class Kim family (played by Song Kang-ho, Jang Hye-jin, Choi Woo-Shik, and Park So-dam) in the opening scenes of the film and it is clear they are not well off financially. The high-class Park family (played by Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Jung Ji-so, and Jung Hyun-joon) has a sleek, beautiful home to house their perfect children. One by one the Kims associate themselves with the Parks, attempting to rid the existing servants there.

The story is presented as a tactful plot to infiltrate the Park household by convincing the parents to hire the Kims individually without the Parks knowing they are all related. The story progresses through the twists and turns of their act, and is an easy contender for Best Original Screenplay. “Parasite” also shares some similarities with Jordan Peele’s latest film “Us” which came out earlier this year. Both films deal with issues like social class in an artistic, eye-opening way. “Parasite” also hints at its self-awareness as a film riddled with commentary on privilege, adding to the film’s perfect amount of humor.

Bong has crafted a couple of other well-known movies such as “The Host” and “Snowpiercer,” both of which some of the highest-grossing South Korean movies of all time. His previous movie “Okja” also competed at Cannes, and Bong has established himself as one of the best filmmakers of the twenty-first century.

“Parasite” is an exciting, beautiful film that raises questions about class relationships and just what lengths a family can go to save each other. Bong Joon-ho tells an enticing narrative that takes the typical family struggle story to new heights.

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