Parasite: Movie Review

Samantha Pierotti, Journalist

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Parasite is the foreign film that’s shaking the United States to it’s core. The South Korean movie was released October 11th in the US, but started to gain notability after it won Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes. The film itself is difficult to categorize: Wikipedia names it as a “black comedy thriller”, IMDb as a “drama / mystery”, and Film AV as a “genre riding roller-coaster”. After watching it, it’s clear to the audience why there is no defining genre. A serious turn happens about half-way in, shifting the tone of the entire film and leaving the watchers with a totally different message than the one they thought they would take away. Parasite has been incredibly well received by Americans, and is nominated for both Best Picture and Best Foreign Film at the Oscars. It also received nominations for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design, and Best Film Editing, placing it in a total of six categories. It is the 7th foreign film ever to be nominated for best picture, and the 5th movie to grace both the foreign film and best picture category.

The Parasite hype is sweeping the internet as well. Film buffs, upset about the lack of diversity (again) in this years Oscar nominations, took to twitter to voice their anger. “The only way to salvage this underwhelming awards season is for Parasite to win Best Picture”, tweets Josh Param (@JRParham), and the public seemed to agree. The people are rooting for Bong Joon-ho for best director, who is an underdog when placed up against other big names like Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. The cast took the award for Best Ensemble at the SAG Awards with ease, which can be seen as a precursor to winning best picture.

CdM students were all praise when it came to Parasite. “For me, my favorite thing about the movie has to be how each scene was put together with such care and precision,” says Senior Nikki Pezeshkian, “Every little thing has a detail about it that you had to discover. It’s a movie that’s been in the works since 2013, and it shows.” Joon-ho is well known for his symbolic, intricate films that feature social and political commentary. Snowpiercer and Okja, two of his other movies, have not-so-subtle messages about capitalism and climate change that are crucial to today’s audiences. “Parasite focuses on major economic disparity that is already taking it’s toll on capitalist countries like South Korea and the US.” Nikki explains, “Many people choose to stay ignorant on these situations; I find it wonderful that Joon-ho is speaking about it on such a large platform and trying to spread the message through a medium that people would so willingly absorb.” Senior Lucy Millman agreed with her viewpoints, adding “I loved the symbolism and the movie’s ability to portray class division in a really chilling way.” The messages that Joon-ho incorporates into his films are more relevant now than ever, and leave audience members thinking when they leave the theatre. Activism through film is shockingly effective, and directors like Joon-ho are utilizing that to spread important messages to audiences world wide.

“I was amazed walking away from the movie”, Millman added, “I still can’t shake the feelings it made me feel. I loved the message as well: I thought it wasn’t too subtle or overdone to the point that the movie was exhausting. It was a beautiful film.” Parasite is a movie that everyone should see, which should be apparent based off of it’s numerous nominations despite language barriers. In the words of the movies own director, “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”