By achieving the distinction of being the first Korean language film to be nominated for the Best Picture category at the Oscars, the social satire Parasite has created ripples around the globe, and rightfully so. The film, directed by the South Korean auteur Bong Joon-Ho, is one of the most compelling genre films in recent memory.
It ultimately cannot be classified into any particular genre, except broadly being labeled as a satire on the social class structure. Though it begins like a ‘con film,’ where a poor family infiltrates a rich family, it soon mutates into something absolutely bizarre and yet, hilarious and oddly satisfying.
The film tricks the audience into believing that it may go in a certain direction but, ultimately ends up taking a drastically different route in the end, and strangely enough, it makes all the sense in the world.
Revealing much about the plot of the film may end up ruining the experience of watching this thrill-filled ride. So, here it goes without delving too much into what really happens- The Kim family’s son lands an opportunity to work as an English tutor for the daughter of the wealthy Park family.
The entire poor Kim family ends up taking jobs at the Park family house, but without letting their employers know that they are a family. What unfolds next is a riveting game of lies, treachery, and hilariously tense moments that will keep one at the edge of their seats.
The movie has universal themes of class divide and social structures that strike a chord with viewers, and its exploration of the class struggle and greed will undoubtedly make the film stand the test of time. But, the most refreshing thing about the movie is that it manages to create characters that you root for no matter what kind of tricks they engage in.
The director subtly turns the tables and smashes cliches as the ‘haves’ are seen as victims of the intelligent, yet morally bankrupt, actions of the ‘have nots’. It may or may not bag the coveted Oscar trophy, but it’s absolutely clear that when the dust settles, and, let alone the year, when the decade comes to an end, Parasite will top the lists of the most relevant and best films of the new decade.