Contributing Writer reviews film “Parasite,” up for Academy Award

By Ryan McCarthy || Contributing Writer

Photo courtesy of losangelestimes.com.

I was really looking forward to seeing Parasite. I rarely analyze the deeper meaning of movies, perhaps because I lack the intellect, but this movie was fun to watch all the way through and had a deeper meaning. Parasite was directed by Bong Joon-ho and had subtitles. I’ll tell you what; I barely noticed them after a couple of minutes. IMDB describes the plot as, “All unemployed, Ki-taek and his family take a peculiar interest in the wealthy and glamorous Parks, as they ingratiate themselves into their lives and get entangled in an unexpected incident.” So, the unemployed Kim family con their way into working for the wealthy Parks family. At that point, I thought I had a firm grasp on the plot until halfway through it distorted into something completely unexpected. I won’t spoil anything here, but it’s undoubtedly one of the most original stories I have seen in years. I had never seen a movie with any of these actors, probably because they’re all Korean, but their performances were flawless. The plot has twists and turns, and I was entertained the whole way through. I went into the theater thinking this movie would be one thing, but it turned into something completely unexpected. 

My favorite aspect of this movie was the cinematography. The visuality is mesmerizing, and Bong did a beautiful job contrasting between the Kim and Parks households. I felt like I was looking at a painting the entire time. It reminded me of the movie Her, a movie that is so stunning it attracts your eyes to the screen. The director made it a point to highlight how the Parkses live well above the Kims. Bong starts the movie out in the crummy basement apartment owned by the Kims. It is a living situation that made me feel bad for them. Then, Bong takes you uphill to the postmodern Parks estate. I then felt sorry for the Parks family as they began over-trusting and were taken advantage of. Bong did this to establish the theme of class warfare, making you favor one family over the other. You soon realize that the Kims and the Parkses are the Yin and Yang of class warfare. The Parkses see the labor as disposable, and the Kims see the house as an opportunity to take advantage. Bong made this movie conflicting, and it is up to the viewer to solve this moral dilemma. This movie stands out because it’s been a week and I still don’t know who the protagonist is. This is why Parasite is truly special. It reminds me of Marriage Story, a movie about a divorce where the viewer feels that they have to side with one partner. Both Parasite and Marriage Story make you feel for both sides until you realize that they are both riddled with flaws. 

If I had to change one thing about this film, I would shorten it and cast a different sound producer. The music didn’t wow me, and I think they could have done a better job at this. I enjoyed every minute of this movie, but in the end, things seemed to drag on. Other than that, this film is a masterpiece. *Chef kiss* I give this movie a 9.5/10. 

Ryan McCarthy is a Contributing Writer. His email is rmccarth@fandm.edu.

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