Review of Parasite (2019)


“She’s rich, but still nice.” “Not “rich, but still nice”. She’s nice because she’s rich. Hell, if I had all this money I’d be nice too.” These words echoed in my brain for hours after the film’s finale, as I was left in awe at the brilliance of the way such simple words could capture the essence of the film so clearly. Parasite is everything that a social satire film should be. The story is set in South Korea but speaks so universally to the struggles of poverty that it could have easily been set in Los Angeles or New York without much change in the story. It tells the story of a family condemned to a life of poverty, living in a half-basement and making money from folding pizza boxes. When their son, Kim Ki Woo (Choi Woo Shik), wrangles an unearned job as an English teacher to a privileged teenager, his sibling and parents plot to bluff their way into getting jobs for the family.


It begins when Kim Ki Wook finds his sister a job as the youngest son’s art therapist, under the alias “Jessica from Chicago Illinois”. Within weeks the father, Ki-taek (Kang-Ho Song) and the mother Choong-Sook (Jang Hye-jin), find employment in the family’s home as the family’s chauffeur and charwoman. The mother’s final employment marks the beginning of a nerve-racking but entrancing series of events that are guaranteed to leave the viewer at the edge of their seat. Parasite is as close to perfect as a film can be. It intricately examines the mundanity of class conflicts and most importantly, humanizes the struggles of living in poverty, something that is very rarely done in an appropriate way.
Rating: 98/100