Movie Review: Parasite


Zinnia Wery

Owen Megura, Staff Writer

Bong Joon-Ho’s Oscar-winning Parasite is a fictional depiction of class, with additional elements of comedy and thriller that will no doubt creep up under your skin as the movie progresses. The movie’s trailer portrays a straightforward and broad plot; however, during the two-hour and twelve minute run time, the audience is thrown in such a loop of intensity that it sometimes feels like a completely different movie, but in the most satisfying and suspenseful kind of way.

Don’t be dismayed by the fact that this film is foreign, as those who don’t understand the Korean language will still feel engaged enough to a point where fluency doesn’t matter, and subtitles can clarify any confusions. The director tells the story in such a witty and cunning kind of way that it encapsulates everything from the normal lives of both poor and rich individuals, and perfectly illustrates the two completely different lifestyles in the financial hierarchy.

There are many different elements that create tension in this miraculous film. Every line said by the characters is meaningful in some way and emphasizes the discreet use of foreshadowing, as the film builds to a startling and off-the-rails twist. Joon-Ho takes this complexity in plot and applies it to his character as well. The characters create a feeling that builds to a question about whether or not the audience should root for these characters or not.

The chemistry evoked between cast members makes it feel like they truly are a family outside of the film, as the script and the delivery of each line feels comfortable and natural. The connection between the characters shows that despite each family’s social class, their combined minds and ideas are an impeccable formation, and reveal the family’s plans. Outside of the main characters, the supporting actors prove how small characters can make a huge difference on the silver screen.

The actors in this film perform realistically, and portray their own lifestyles with persuasive charisma, showing the greed for wealth in times of need. Senior Chase Bolton believed that the characters and their interactions with each other were very believable and relatable, and thoroughly enjoyed the film and its concept. “The film’s portrayal of the lower class was very convincing and wasn’t exaggerated,” Bolton stated. “I’ve traveled around the world and have been in neighborhoods where there have been people living in similar conditions of poverty,” Bolton continued. This masterful acting, along with many other details of the film, made it very engaging and immersive.

The film’s cinematography is one of the main highlights. Scenes were filled with an atmosphere that captures its own emotion. Colors stood out and changed with the mood of the film, with bright colors emphasizing happiness and/or paranoia and dimmer colors representing isolation and suspense. With such attention to detail, one can appreciate the artistry in the movie’s script and visual features.

Though the film isn’t in the English language, Bolton still encourages non-Korean speakers to watch it, and believes that one can appreciate it despite the language barrier. “I thought that the movie was going to be very hard to understand due to the movie being in a different language,”said Bolton. He continued to explain that as the movie progressed, it was easier to understand the film and its message. “I believe people may tend to stray away from this film because of subtitles, when in reality subtitles didn’t take the enjoyment out of the movie,” Bolton concluded.

The movie flows smoothly and maintains a consistent interest even when the film slows down. The actors and actresses deliver masterful and memorable performances, the script is powerful and the brilliant cinematography is icing on the cake. Parasite encompasses the well-known phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover,” as character’s personalities, some of which seem meaningless and monotone, soon become quite the opposite, leaving a big impact on the fate of the characters as well as the audience when they leave theaters.