"Parasite" Review

The four-time Academy award-winning film by Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite, is a deeply symbolic piece of art that explores themes of classism and poverty in South Korea and the pop culture influences that American military presence had on the country. At the 92nd Oscars, Bong Joon Ho took home awards for Best Original Screenplay, Best Directing, Best Foreign Film, and most importantly, Best Picture. Inspired by the directing of Martin Scorsese, who was also nominated for best directing for The Irishman, Bong Joon-Ho’s admiration of Scorsese’s directing was present in the climax of Parasite. If we were to compare the climax in Parasite, and Scorsese’s climax in The Departed, both scenes are out of control, all h*ll breaking loose, without sparing the lives of main characters. Bong has said that in his film there are no heroes, which differs greatly from American Hollywood cinema that almost always features one protagonist as the hero of the film and his own story. In Parasite, however, the protagonist is essentially the entire poor family as they work together as a team to infiltrate a wealthy home and family to steal the jobs of the family’s housekeeper, driver, and tutors. This film examines the competition between the poor for jobs in South Korea as they physically fight the previous housekeeper in order to keep their jobs. This critique of South Korean poverty is interesting and eye-opening, especially to American viewers. Since the film got so much recognition at the Academy Awards, it can be predicted that more Americans will watch the film and other important films by Bong. Hopefully, this can cause an awakening to foreign cinema. American viewers can also learn about the various influences that American pop culture had on South Korea during America's military presence. 

The cinematography in Parasite is remarkable. Hues of blue, green, gray, and red are used to suggest symbolism in different scenes. Every performance was strong and full of raw emotion as well, unfortunately not getting any recognition from the Academy for Best actor, etc. I highly recommend this film, and I cannot wait to watch more films by Bong Joon-Ho!

Felicity Warner / HCM

Felicity Warner / HCM