The genius South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho has made masterpieces like The Host, Okja, Mother and Memories of Murder previously which took the world by storm. It can be said that the reason for all of his films to make on top of the charts would be because all of these films do not fit in the narrow and typical parameters of the particular genres.
All of his movies are based on the bedrock of the comic violence. He uses this bedrock of comic violence to place these amazingly heavy stories to balance out the weight for the viewers. Bong always mixes up genres and comes up with something which is a bit of everything in one thing!
Apparently “snowpiercer” and “memories of murder” are movies based on genres like science fiction and mystery but there is a hidden magic in his movies which unfolds right before your eyes and you will not be able to resist the controlled and very intentional instability in the stories.
The director called his latest masterpiece “parasite” a “family tragicomedy” in which he has mixed up some really heavy socio-economic ends with his own touch of depressing comedy and has brought this magic to the world and the world indeed is in shock once again!
For everyone who has watched this movie and caught the magic within smallest of details, there could honestly be no words to explain how much of genius Bong Joon Ho is to bring forth this amazingly grounded, less eccentric story of a family who is living a life under the rock of late capitalism. Through this movie Bong said I wanted to tell the society that the society can only be as strong as its most vulnerable people.
The movie starts with a scene when the whole Ki family is looking for some bars of Wi-Fi since the local business set up a password on their internet connection because they are sick of the freeloaders using their connection. To resolve the issue, with all good hopes the father of the family who is a bit of a tech-illiterate, tells his kids to raise their phones higher and without thinking they abide by their father’s words.
Like all the other vulnerable characters in Bong’s films this family is also proud of what they have, they are resourceful and hard-working. The Ki family at first gets around with the little money they earn from folding the flat pizza boxes for a local restaurant. But then the daughter’s rich friend moves to America and asks her to take over his job of tutoring the rich kid of the Park’s family, so she jumps at the opportunity despite being underqualified.
Park family has two kids; one is the hyperactive son with a real trauma who never listens to anyone and the notorious daughter who treats her tutors as her make-out partners. Like all the other movies of Bong this one is also a hilarious family comedy until it’s not!
Then the movie genius Bong makes the Park family ultimately lucky because the new tutor just happens to know an art tutor which definitely is his sister but they act as total strangers in front of the Parks. The daughter later places a scheme to have Park family’s driver fired and has his dad working as a driver, later the housekeeper was the only hurdle until she wasn’t. So now, one complete family is latched onto the other family for the sake of financial benefits.
At this point, the rich Park family lives on the top of the hill while the Ki family lives under the flood zone into a basement. In a scene Mr. Park appreciates his new driver for “not crossing the line”. This scene clearly shows how Bong is trying to depict the socio-economic differences between the both classes.
The Ki family starts spending more time in the Park family’s mansion, they serve their employers well but they start occupying a different reality when the Park family acts a little desensitized and dumb because they are under the influences of their riches. Mr. Park (head of Park family) always kept expressing his disgust about how Mr. Ki (the new driver) smelled.
All of these small details developed a rage within the basement family against the mansion family and they started thinking why can’t they have all the blessings which the Parks have while they are still this ignorant and treat them like trash. At the end of the movie Mr. Ki kills Mr. Park. Later the son wakes up in a hospital after a month of his coma and gets to know that his sister had died and his father has gone missing with no whereabouts known.
Bong ended the movie with such a strong shot that the viewers even after the movie is finished are trying to contain what actually happened! There is a reason why “Parasite” is Bong Joon Ho’s best film till date, there is a reason why it won 6 Oscars and there is a reason why it won La Palme d’Or, the biggest award at The Cannes Festival. Give it a watch if you want to watch an epic tragedy with a touch of family comedy. Happy watching! 🙂