Directed by: Bong Joon-ho
Starring: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Lee Jung-eun, Chang Hyae-jin
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Release Date: 31 January, 2020
Running Time: 132 Minutes
Parasite is a 2019 South Korean black comedy thriller film directed by Bong Joon-ho, who also wrote story and co-wrote the screenplay with Han Jin-won. It stars Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, and Park So-dam, and follows the members of a poor household who scheme to become employed by a wealthy family by infiltrating the household and posing as unrelated, highly qualified individuals.
The film premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival on 21 May 2019, where it became the first Korean film to win the Palme d’Or and the first to win with a unanimous vote since 2013’s Blue Is the Warmest Colour. It was then released in South Korea by CJ Entertainment on 30 May 2019. It was praised as the best South Korean film and one of the best films of the 2010s. It has grossed $165.4 million worldwide so far, becoming Bong’s highest-grossing release and the third highest-grossing film in South Korea.
Parasite received numerous accolades, with six nominations at the 92nd Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best International Feature Film, making it the first South Korean film to receive Academy Award recognition. At the 77th Golden Globe Awards, it won the award for Best Foreign Language Film. It received four nominations at the 73rd British Academy Film Awards, winning Best Film Not in the English Language and Best Original Screenplay. It also became the first non-English film to win the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Parasite Movie Trailer:
Parasite Movie Review:
A stunning expose on how the class system affects the way we live our lives, Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho’s much lauded Oscar hopeful Parasite is at once a twisty thriller as well as a sociological awakening. While envy, greed and naiveté play primary spoilers here, the character study pitting two diverse classes is a riveting drama full of surprises.
The director of Snowpiercer and Okja, who is better known for his creature features, goes back to one of his pet peeves – the class system, in order to work up some stunning magic along the way. Coming after Hirokazu Kora-Eda’s Japanese drama Shoplifters, Joseph Losey’s The Servant and Pier Paolo Pasoloni’s Theorem – similar posits, Parasite may not seem exactly original in terms of thematic content but in terms of plotting and execution it’s startlingly innovative.
Kim Ki-woo (Choi Woo-sik) and his family are out of regular work and even their part-time pizza-box folding work, appears to have deserted them. So living on the edge of poverty, though nothing new to the intrepid family of four, they make the most of the first ray of hope that comes their way. Kim Ki-woo’s friend, who has to go to a university out-of-state, offers to recommend him as an English tutor for a girl he’s been working with. From there on, it’s ‘jugaad’.
After Kim gains entry as a tutor he recommends his sister Ki-jung (Park So-dam) to provide art therapy to the family’s seemingly troubled, precocious toddler and later, their parents Kim Ki-taek (Song Kang-Ho) and Chung-sook (Chang Hyae-jin) also find positions of work in the super rich household of Park Dong-ik(Lee Sun-Kyun) and Yeon-kyo (Cho Yeo-jeong). Thereafter there’s comedy, tragedy and horror in good measure – coming at you through stunning twists and turns. The dark family farce takes an unexpected detour into morally complex, tragedy-inclined, social realism. For the rich, the poor are a necessary evil while in reverse the sentiment doesn’t really hold true.
Hong Kyung-pyo’s bright cinematography, Lee Ha-jun’s minimal production design and Jung Jaei-il’s evocative, nuanced score combine brilliantly to bring a well-calibrated point home. Bong Joon-ho’s contemporary drama is brilliantly coherent, thematically and tonally assured and resonates much beyond the obvious. Parasite is a marvelous illuminating parable on the mindset of a people existing in troubling, polarised times… and it’s also thrilling!