On the 9 of February 2020, the Korean black comedy thriller film Parasite by Bong Joon Ho won a total of 4 Oscar Awards, and the film made history. Parasite took home the most awards at the Oscars 2020. The film won Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and Best Foreign Language Film. It was also the first-ever non-American film to win the Best Picture Award and the first-ever South Korean movie to be nominated in the Oscars. After all these awards and hypes, does Parasite live up to the high expectations? Yes, it does. It deserved all the hype it is getting, and I’ll tell you why. The plot, twists, metaphorical scenes, characters, theme and editing made the whole movie worth-watching and Oscars-worthy. If you haven’t watched the movie yet, I suggest you go watch it now because you are missing out.
Parasite is a movie that tackles a lot of relevant big issues that are happening in our society and regardless of social status, everybody can relate to it. The film tells a story about the poor but witty Kim family who used their wits to outsmart the wealthy but gullible Park family. It all started when the Kim family conned and deceived their way to employment in the Park household. At first, you would think that the movie was titled Parasite because the lower class family leeches off the generosity and kindness of the wealthy family. But that’s not just it. According to the director, the title was also represented by how the wealthy family was also leeching off the poor family by living a pleasant life because of the latter’s labours and this was shown throughout the movie. Bong stated in an interview that, “They can’t drive for themselves, they need to hire a housekeeper, so everyone is our parasites, including the third family.” The plot of the movie is splendid and astounding; it won’t disappoint you.
If you’re someone who likes to watch movies with interesting and mind blowing twists, then this is the right one for you! The movie is not your ordinary film with a clear beginning, middle, and end; it’s like two movies that are combined into one. The first movie would be the part wherein the poor family was infiltrating the wealthy family by conning them, and the part wherein Mugwang, the former housekeeper, rang the doorbell signified the end of the first movie. This is where the tone completely changed and it is what Bong referred to the real start of the movie. After the doorbell rang, you’ll already know that after a series of peaceful events something bad will happen. But Parasite is not your ordinary film, so of course your predictions might be false. This movie is extremely unpredictable and I swear, never in my mind did I expect the ending.
The film delivers a lot of foreshadowing wherein even the tiniest detail is relevant. Watching this movie requires you to be attentive because it is also metaphoric. For example, during the intro wherein they were trying to connect to their neighbors’ wifi, that was actually the first representation of them being a parasite. The camera also purposely showed the crazily high staircase that divided the poor people’s homes from wealthy people. This staircase represents the wealth gap, power and polarization. I think this is the most relevant metaphoric object in the movie because this showed the class division in the modern world wherein the rich people tower over the poor people who live below them. The theme of this movie is profound and is eye-opening to what is currently happening not just in South Korean society but also worldwide.
The pace of this movie is easy to follow and its montage can be considered as perfect. If you don’t know what a montage is, it is an editing technique in which shots are juxtaposed in an often fast-paced fashion that compresses time and conveys a lot of information in a relatively short period (elementsofcinema.com). Bong’s attention to detail played a huge role in the movie. The music, the editing, the camera work and also the slow motion combined to create the astonishing montage of this film. The pacing and tempo was just right, which is why Bong’s tonal shifts were delivered successfully. All details were conveyed into its montages that were really cinematic. It was able to draw out the audience’s emotions with success.
Franklin’s video production teacher Mr. Adam Souza stated that, “I can probably spend some time talking about all the elements of this film, but the thing that stood out the most for me was its character development. I as an audience member align and empathize with every character.” Each character has their own influence in the story and that made each of them unique. This uniqueness brings an essence to the film. “This film is incredibly interesting as it is a commentary not only on the human condition and our survival, but how we as humans develop systems of class that make some people more desperate than others. That families will do anything to protect each other at all costs,” Mr. Souza added. If you love films that showcase characters with different but relatable acts, Parasite is for you!
Given all these reasons, all those prestigious awards are well-deserved. All those hype that they’re receiving are totally worth it. There’s no room for disappointment regarding this movie. The reasons why Parasite is an Oscar-worthy movie is because of its splendid plot, mind blowing twists, metaphorical scenes, unique characters and relevant theme. Now that reasons are served in your platter, do you think Parasite lives up to the soaring publicity?