Popcorn Picks Review: ‘Parasite’ punches you in the gut with its artful criticism on class structure


Photo credit: Autumn Bohner

Anna Pidgeon, Contributor

Watching Bong Joon-ho’s dystopian “Parasite” makes you feel every bit as dirty and unwelcome as the title suggests.

Massively interwoven in the script exists an unsettling lense through which Mr. Bong suggests the movie-goer views his thoughtful social commentary on class structure in South Korea. “Parasite” effortlessly welcomes you into the lives of two families whose jarringly polar opposite existences read inclusively as comical and enraging.

The film kicks off with a glance into the lives of the lower-class Kim family. Set in South Korea, the nuclear family survives off of very little income in a run-down basement apartment in need of deep cleaning. A friend of Ki-woo (the son) visits and offers him a job as an English tutor for a rich family’s daughter, which catalyzes to kick start the events of the rest of the film.

Insert the Park family, wealthy and oblivious (the former of which more than likely causes the latter), who take in Ki-woo as an English tutor per the recommendation of Ki-woo’s friend, Da-hye, who is conveniently studying abroad for the duration of the film.

Unbeknownst to the Park family, they have just invited someone into their lavish home who will cause an infestation of sorts blurring the lines between lower and upper class. After watching “Parasite,” one will notice how it eventually begs the question of “who is taking advantage of whom?”

One element of this film that furthers this question is the score, composed by Jung Jae-il. It is unnerving, containing touches of youthful elegance with underlying sinister tones highlighting all of the deceit that takes place in the film. The themes for the two families blend in a perfectly crafted score for such an unsettling movie.

I honestly felt very conflicted as the ending credits rolled down the screen.

After seeing how much hype Mr. Bong was receiving, I went in expecting to see a masterwork. But as I left the theater afterward, I felt somewhat empty and robbed of something I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

I would also hesitate to call “Parasite” a horror film and would more-so agree with the “black comedy thriller” genre some have labeled it as.

However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized I understood the points Mr. Bong was making.

With that, I would one hundred percent suggest giving the film a chance. You’ll be thoroughly disgusted by some scenes and laughing at the absurdness of others.

Final rating: 3.5 out of 4 kernels

Photo credit: Autumn Bohner


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Twitter: @APidgeonTWW