PARASITE: A Masterpiece of Meaning

Parasite follows the story of the Kim family and their journey to improve their status in life. Ki-woo, the eldest son, is given the opportunity by a friend to tutor the daughter of the well off Park family. From here, Ki-woo realises his family could feel the limited roles of assistance within the house. Together the Kims work together to remove and replace the Parks’ original staff with themselves.

Director Bong Joon Ho tells layered stories of social status and the meeting of classes. This is a theme he continues to consider and explore during Parasite. The drastic differences between the two families and the stereotypes that follow along show the way these two worlds can clash. In a world of silence social cues and expectations, the murky lines are crossed.

Credit: Curzon Artificial Eye

Bong Joon Ho creates a cinematic masterpiece of meaning everywhere you look. The most superb example of this is the homes of the three families that are present during the film – the grand Park family home and the sub-basement the Kim family live in. The decision for each setting, each camera view of each setting, shows just how much care Bong Joon Ho took in tell this story. 

Another perfect example is the journey the Kim family take from the splendid wonder of the Park to their own dwellings – continuous shoots of the family running down, down, further down until the place they just left was another world away. This further emphasises the differences that bring out conflict. Accompanied with a score from Jung Jae-il, the atmosphere and cinematic language is played so well.

Bong Joon described Parasite as “a comedy without clowns, a tragedy without villains”. This is an entirely apt description. The story jumps between the humour and the horror of the situation. You want the Kims’ to succeed, even as their tactics get creepier and more unnerving. When the plot begins to twist, it is so carefully put together that you find yourself gasping in surprise, sitting on the edge of your seat and wondering just how this could possibly end.

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