Parasite Wins Best Picture, Making Oscar History

Parasite is a Korean dark comedy directed by Bong Joon-ho, who also co-produced and co-wrote it. The film was released CJ Entertainment and won Best Foreign Language Film at the 77th Golden Globes, a first for a Korean movie.

The young Kim Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) lives with his poor family in a basement apartment. He is given a “scholar’s rock” from a friend (Park Seo-joon), who also tells him that he can get a job at a wealthy family’s home teaching their teenage daughter (Jeong Ji-so) English. He impresses the naive mother (Cho Yeo-jeong) and this leads him to recommend his sister (Park So-dam) as her son’s art teacher, though he lies about her identity calling her “Jessica.” The sister scares the mother into thinking her son (Jung Hyeon-jun) needs “art therapy.” Planting something in the couple’s car, their driver is dismissed by the family’s patriarch (Lee Sun-kyun) and they recommend their father (Song Kang-ho), lying about his identity too. Soon, things get out of hand after they trick the couple into thinking their eccentric housekeeper (Lee Jung-eun) has a communicable disease. Now, their mother (Chang Hyae-jin) is hired as the new housekeeper.

Now, the movie was a bit weird and bizarre as far as the story goes. This movie blends so many genres it is amazing. Comedy, thriller, and drama, you can find a little bit of everything in here. It is amazing that with so much going on in a movie, it was so easy to follow. Even with every twist and turn, I never once got lost in the story or confused. That is a credit to director Bong Joon-ho, who did an excellent job crafting the story.

Song Kang-ho did an incredible job as Mr. Kim. His presence on the film of being a struggling father who helps plan out this massive deception is incredibly well-done. He is a good man and a good father who just wants to help his family. However, his envy at the lifestyle of the Parks brings out some bad consequences.

As far as the other performances, they were spot on as well. Everyone plays their performances extraordinarily well. Park So-dam as the rebellious and intelligent daughter who also has a fierce loyalty to her family is also a pained experience to watch. She truly shines in the feature.

My only discontent with the film is I feel it was a bit rushed and did not match with the story. While in tone, it matched alright, I did not fully grasp it. That being said, it was told well and performed excellently.

Bottom line, this is one of the best South Korean films I have seen. The humor has you laughing out loud, the performances are excellent, and the pacing is amazing. While flawed, it is a masterpiece that you can enjoy, even reading subtitles.

PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, Sexual content, Foul language

FAVORITE QUOTE: You know what kind of plan never fails? No plan. No plan at all. You know why? Because life cannot be planned. Look around you. Did you think these people made a plan to sleep in the sports hall with you? But here we are now, sleeping together on the floor. So, there’s no need for a plan. You can’t go wrong with no plans. We don’t need to make a plan for anything. It doesn’t matter what will happen next. Even if the country gets destroyed or sold out, nobody cares. Got it?

Author: Lawrence Lease

Lawrence Lease is a freelance writer and screenwriter. His work can be seen on Blasting News, Cinema Gold and The Washington Ledger.