The Oscar jury has been demonstrating its love for heavy, eccentric and maximally tolerant films year after year. “Parasites” directed by Bong Joon Ho can hardly be called heavy (after all, it is also a comedy) or as tolerant as possible. The only thing that connects the film with the “Oscar” is unconditional eccentricity and novelty, which, as it turned out, were enough to win four prestigious awards. Two of them are for the Best Foreign Feature Film and for the Best Film. Thus, the “Oscar” identified “Parasite” as the best film on the planet in 2020.
Below we will tell you why “Parasites” became the best and what idea is cultivated throughout the film. Go.
The plot of the best South Korean thriller Parasite
Kim Kithaek lives with his wife Jung-sook and two grown children in a meager basement apartment. Family members are in poverty and barely make ends meet. The youngest son Ki-woo gets a lucky ticket – an acquaintance invites him to give English lessons to a girl from a wealthy Pak family. Ki-wu does not refuse the given opportunity and begins to drag his relatives with him.
The main characters of Parasite
The main characters of the film are the poor South Korean family Kim, whose members, nevertheless, are talented and not the most stupid people. They are not unconditional hostages of the situation, because being poor does not mean losing any opportunities for happiness. But the members of the Kim family seem to have resigned themselves to the last statement, and throughout the plot, they only do what they are trying to improve their lives in a not most legal way. They are opposed by the family of the rich Pak, who, unlike the poor Kitheks, live almost on the highest point of the city, thereby further emphasizing their status.
Symbolism in the film Parasite
Drawing the obvious parallels between the poor and the rich, director Bong Joon-ho does not forget to fill the film with vivid visuals that further emphasize the idea of class inequality.
The stairs in “Parasites” are a designation of what position this or that family occupies in society. A similar class gradation occurs in the case of three active families. The Pak family, as mentioned earlier, lives on one of the highest points in the city, to which, if you walk from the Kim house, we lead many flights of stairs. Their large and spacious house is surrounded by a couple of stairs that never “lead” to the bottom.
The Kimom family lives in a modest semi-basement apartment, which can be reached with the help of one flight of stairs. The highest point in their house is symbolically located in the toilet.
But at the lowest level lives the Mungwan housekeeper’s family. Her husband lives in a bomb shelter basement, which is accessed by several deep stairs in the Pak house. Interestingly, having lived in the mansion for more than four years, the Paki never found this basement, which once again hints at their “high” status.
After the Kim family hastily left the rich man’s house, they discover a completely flooded apartment. The water is believed to be draining from the wealthy upper regions.
The rain is a disaster. Kims lose all their property, and are forced to spend the night at a school, where a shelter is organized for the same victims. In turn, the Pak family does not feel any significant problems. On the contrary, after a downpour, their lawn was flooded with summer sun, and the air, according to Madame Pak, was filled with freshness.
Thus, by showing the same event – pouring rain, the director further emphasizes the social inequality between the two families. Hinting that Pakov’s fresh air is metaphorically paid for by the destruction and tragedy of poor areas.
The main idea and hidden meaning of Parasite
So who are the “parasites” after all? Films about class inequality are as common a genre of cinematography as rom-com or science fiction. The idea of comparing the poor to the rich can be traced even in the most obscure films, such as “The Notebook” or “1 + 1”. The brighter representatives of the niche (“Titanic”, “The Pursuit of Happiness”) often romanticize / exploit the power of the human “I”. They cultivate the reinforced concrete idea that, like the poor, the rich are also unhappy, but the latter are still in their own way.
In turn, “Parasites” does not romanticize either poverty or wealth. He does not try to convey to the viewer one specific judgment, that someone is bad and someone is good. There are no positive characters in the film, and it is impossible to answer unequivocally the question of who the parasites are.
On one, more obvious side, the parasites are the Kim family and the Mungwan housekeeper. “At first glance, we have made a satire on the poor who pollute a beautiful clean house like parasites. But if you think about it, you will understand that the poor family was not in this situation of their own free will. They are capable, they are talented, and they are human flesh – but unemployment hardens them and forces them to commit crimes, ”the director of the film, Pong Jun-ho, comments on this theory. On the other, the Pak family. “It may seem to you that the parasites are the family of the rich. After all, they pay to wash their floors and take them to the robot. ” – Pong Chung Ho.
But one thing is for sure, and the Kim family with the housekeeper Mungwan, and the Pak family parasitize on each other. After all, the first, and the second, and the third agree to the conditions provided to each other, encouraging the idea of social inequality. Kim and Mungwan for the belief that their position does not tolerate picky. Packs because they are convinced of the correctness of their actions, because the division into “poor” and “rich”, “servants” and “masters” is a natural and understandable process, especially for the latter.
Explanation of the “Parasite” ending
Despite the obvious division into “masters” and “servants”, which Mr. Park and his wife had repeatedly hinted at, the Kim family, especially Kim Kithak, could not fully accept this attitude, and continued to see in the Pak family not only friends, but and future relatives.
A scene with a discussion of the latter’s smell and a dismissive mention of how he was trying to “cross the line” helped open our eyes to Park’s real attitude towards Kim. At that moment, Kim realizes that Park does not recognize him as a friend or relative. At the time of the murder of his daughter, he sees not only her and his bloody son, but also how Pak covers his nose, smelling the smell of the housekeeper’s already dead husband. The rich man does not try to help his daughter, because if your house is on fire, you are not saving the washing machine or iron. Kim realizes that Park has always viewed his servants that way. He has nothing to lose, and he decides to cross the line in order to be master of the situation even for a second.