‘Parasite’ filled with suspense, comedy, thrills

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Michelle Thonavong, guest writer

Check out academy award-winning film “Parasite.” A masterpiece is what I would call it, one of the best foreign films I’ve seen this year.  A spine-chilling movie full of twists and turns, it will undoubtedly leave you with an eerie feeling and full of questions.

Many factors led to the film’s success, including its wonderful cinematography, storytelling, music, acting, and plot. The most prominent aspect of the film is the acknowledgment of society’s biggest issue: discrimination in the social structure. Director Bong Joon Ho’s films are known for tackling real-life inequalities. “Parasite” is the most daring of all his other notable works, which include “Snowpiercer ” and “Okja.”

“Parasite” starts with a shot of the Kim family’s semi-basement home. The environment of the home isn’t the most ideal. It is cluttered, dirty and infected with bugs. The family makes meager wages by folding pizza boxes. They aren’t even good at it.

Despite these circumstances, the family is comfortable but will strive for better when the opportunity is handed to them. Everything changes when Ki Woo’s friend offers him a tutoring opportunity in the renowned upper-class Park family’s home.

Despite not having gone to college, Kim Woo uses his smarts to talk his way into tutoring their daughter (with the help of his sister’s excellent photoshopped college documents). The infiltration deepens when he finds out that their youngest son needs an art therapist, thus giving him the idea of gigging the job to his sister. Of course, he had to lie that they weren’t related for it to be more believable. Through various schemes and adlibs, the rest of the Kim family replace the Park family’s housekeeper and chauffeur.

At this point, you may have an idea of what the title of the film represents. The poor Kim family is leeching off the Park family’s wealth. Or is it quite the opposite, the Park family feeding off the Kim family’s labor? Perhaps it is both, which is all up to your interpretation. I won’t go too much into detail on the story because it’s best to watch the film with as little knowledge of it as possible in order to enjoy the full experience.

One last thing I’ll mention is that there are a lot of metaphors in the film. The idea of “upstairs, downstairs, and farther downstairs” takes on a whole new meaning. The film is highly engaging. It’s a ride packed with suspense, comedy, and thrills. I’m impressed on how all the genres are blended so seamlessly. Indeed, it’s a breath of fresh air and most definitely worth the experience.

Changes in structure and information were made on 5/28/2020.