“Parasite” overcomes the barriers of a foreign film

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Infographic by Aidan Rogers ’22

Aidan Rogers ’22

I understand that after spending $25 on tickets, popcorn and candy, many audiences might not be enthusiastic about attending a movie that will require them to read subtitles for two hours. But watching Best Picture Oscar winner “Parasite,” directed by Korean film maker Bong Joon-ho, is more than worth the effort.
“Parasite” is like a fairy tail revolving around two very different families in the modern world. First, we are introduced to the Kims: a family from the lower-class struggling to make ends meet in the depressed slums of Korea. Then we meet the Park family: a family from the upper-class living a picturesque life of wealth and privilege.
In an unlikely series of events, these two families become intertwined. The less fortunate Kim family sees this relationship as an opportunity to thrive.
The affair between the Kims and the Parks depicts a series of problems with the classist system of Korea, and gives a darker look at wealth that isn’t commonly explored in American cinema. The film does an exceptional job at showing how the wealthy are blinded by the wealth they have, as the less fortunate are blinded by the drive for that wealth.
Ki-Woo, the son in the Kim family, designs a grand scheme along with his father, mother and sister to trick their way into working for the Park family. They do this by pretending to be a tutor, driver, maid and art therapist. Eventually this plan backfires in a Quentin-Tarantino-type tragic ending.
I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation as I watched the Kim family snake their way through life working for the Park family. The feeling that one of them could make a mistake at any moment made it hard to look away.
When I see movies with a suspenseful plot like this—a plot that is filled with twists and turns—I worry about parts of the story falling off. At the end of the film, a flash forward does a great job at concluding all of the stories loose ends.
The title “Parasite” is a clear reflection of the way the Kim family lived like parasites as they survived off the wealth and vulnerability of the Park family.
In light of everything this movie does right, I cannot overlook that in the beginning of the movie, I was initially annoyed by the english subtitles. But as the movie continued, the story grabbed me and I forgot it was even being told in another language.
This unrelenting thriller is almost flawless. Comedic, suspenseful and even scary at times, the combination of pristine acting, a well thought-out plot and artful cinematography makes this film worthy of its six Oscar nominations and four wins: best picture, director, foreign language film and best screenplay.
If you are looking for a movie that will hook you and keep you talking about it for days to come, don’t let the subtitles scare you away;“Parasite” will not disappoint.

Rating: 5/5 stars