Written and directed by Bong Joon-ho, Parasite follows the poor and down trodden Kim family, who share a job as pizza box folders as they struggle to pay their bills. They soon find themselves scheming their way into the lives of the rich and successful Park family.
We first meet Kim Ki-woo (Woo-sik Choi) as he is asked to pose as an English tutor by his friend Min-hyuk (Seo-joon Park). He has had the job a long time but now wishes to study abroad. Min has fallen for his student, the daughter of the wealthy Park family, Da-hye (Ji-so Jung) and trusts Ki-woo to keep an eye on her for him.
Once hired Ki-woo sets about getting his family jobs with the Park family. First his sister Ki-jeong (So-dam Park) is hired as an art therapist, then his father, Ki-taek (Kang-ho Song ), is hired as a chauffeur after Mr. Park’s driver is fired; and finally the mother of the family Chung-sook (Hye-jin Jang) is hired to replace the current housekeeper, Moon-gwang (Jeong-eun Lee), after the Kim family exploit her allergy to peaches, claiming that she has tuberculosis. The Park family remain unaware that the Kim family are all related.
All seems to be going great for the Kim family and they celebrate in the Park’s house whilst the Park family are away camping. Suddenly the bell rings it is the old housekeeper Moon-gwang. She just wants to collect something she has left behind…
Parasite transcends genre, it effortlessly shifts from comedy, to drama, to thriller and leaves something in every scene for the audience. It is never boring. It’s greatest strength is that it trusts its audience and never talks down to them or over explains anything. There are layers and layers of detail to explore and it is one of those films that will improve with every re-watch.
Acting wise, the whole cast delivers and director Bong Joon-ho definitely loves a bit of Hitchcock from his voyeurism, stairs, and windows. This all combines to make an at times claustrophobic at other times ironic tragic atmosphere.
Verdict: 9/10. Exceptional plot construction and delivery leaves the audience feeling like they experienced something significant after viewing Parasite. This film works on so many levels from parable to metaphor with jarring juxtaposition between scenes and families adding so much to the cinematic experience. A must see.