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"Jessica, only child, Illinois, Chicago, classmate Kim Jin-mo, he's your cousin."

Kim Ki-Jung

Parasite (Korean: 기생충; Hanja: 寄生蟲; RR: Gisaengchung) is a 2019 South Korean black comedy thriller film directed by Bong Joon-ho, who also wrote the film's story and co-wrote the screenplay with Han Jin-won. The film stars Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-Kyun, Cho Yeo-Jeong, Choi Woo-Shik, and Park So-dam, and follows the members of a poor household scheming to become the employees of a much wealthier family by posing as unrelated, highly-qualified individuals.

Plot[]

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.

Why It Rocks[]

  1. It's an extremely entertaining thriller that perfectly blends comedy and thrills, similar to Knives Out, another black comedy film released in 2019.
    • It's also similar to other films such as Us by telling an entertaining story but without sacrificing the believability of its narrative.
  2. Bong Joon-ho's best film yet after films such as Snowpiercer and Okja. His direction is extremely impressive too.
  3. It manages to look into social issues with the upper class in South Korea and perfectly criticizes capitalism.
  4. Any genre you name, this movie covers it. Thriller, Mystery, Comedy, Horror, Drama, Romance, you name it. It perfectly throws them into the blender to make a really tasty mix.
  5. A bunch of brilliant twists throughout all of the acts.
  6. The film makes several nods to Alfred Hitchcock throughout. Stairs are used as a motif, voyeurism is used as characters watch scenes through windows 14 times, and (most obviously) there is a brief glimpse of an out of place Alfred Hitchcock collection in the Park's home.
    • The Park family's home is also sort of inspired by Psycho.
  7. Every single actor has a great performance, especially the main ones. The entire cast is perfect for their roles
  8. The film manages to respect its audience by trusting them to notice important details and acknowledge them without shoving them down their throats.
  9. It's perfectly fast-paced. It's not too quick or too slow. It allows the viewers to be able to see everything go on without it flashing before their eyes, meaning they won't forget about it later on.
  10. Because it's super entertaining, there are absolutely no boring scenes in the movie to be seen.
  11. The cinematography is extremely beautiful and breathtaking. Because of where the camera's standing, it allows everything to look gorgeous on screen.
  12. It popularized the food Ram-don, steak ramen.
  13. The score and sound design by Jeong Jae-il are almost perfect in every scenario, especially "The Belt of Faith".
  14. It's unexpectedly shocking and brutal ending (which won't be spoiled for your own sake).
  15. You know what kind of plan never fails? No plan. No plan at all. You know why? Because life cannot be planned.

Reception[]

Parasite received universal acclaim from critics and audiences alike, and is widely considered to be one of the greatest South Korean films ever made and one of the best films of the 2010s decade. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 99% based on 304 reviews, with an average rating of 9.41/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "An urgent, brilliantly layered look at timely social themes, Parasite finds writer-director Bong Joon Ho in near-total command of his craft." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 96 out of 100 based on 48 critics, indicating "universal acclaim." It's also the highest-rated film on Letterboxd, having a 4.6/5 as of February 2020 and overtaking The Godfather's record.

Awards and Nominations[]

The film won the Palme d'Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, becoming the first South Korean film to win such an award. At the 77th Golden Globe Awards, the film was nominated for three awards including Best Director and Best Screenplay, and won Best Foreign Language Film, becoming the first-ever Korean film to achieve that feat.

It also won Best Picture, Best Director, Best International Feature film, and Best Original Screenplay at the 92nd Academy Awards. Parasite is the first film not in English to win Best Picture, the first South Korean film to be nominated, and the second film produced by an Asian country to be nominated since 2000's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Trivia[]

  • The Parks' house, said in the film to be designed by a fictional architect named Namgoong Hyeonja, was a set completely built from scratch.
  • The house was designed to feature lines that clearly divide the Parks and Kims.

External Links[]

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