Review: ‘Parasite,’ a stunning look at classism

The Korean film is nominated for six Oscars including Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing and Best Director. (Graphic by Alex Dascalu)

Warning: Contains major spoilers for Parasite.

With six Oscar-nominations, Parasite, directed by Bong Joon-ho, undoubtedly deserves to make history and be the first foreign film to win Best Picture.

The Korean film is also nominated for Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Director, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Production Design. To me it’s obvious why. Its shocking scenes, its seamless flow of clips that keep the viewer engaged and Bong Joon-Ho’s talent to foreshadow and build suspense have all contributed to the film’s mastery.

This film gives a look into the life and hardships of the lower class and is a realistic depiction of classism and privilege of the upper class. The comparisons between the two families in the film, the Parks and Kims, gets increasingly in-your-face as the film progresses, a small example being the Kim family’s inability to find good jobs because they can’t afford the proper education. It’s eye-opening, well-presented, well-acted and makes you realize how lucky we are to have what we have and motivates you to want to do better in your daily life.

The movie discusses class envy, advantage, greed and how one family can be constricted by societal norms for so long that one day, they snap.

It begins in the half-basement of a South-Korean apartment with the Kims living below the poverty line with just enough food and amenities to live. On the flip side, the Park family is living in a mansion with their biggest problems in life being their son’s acting out and their daughter’s English grades.

Since the Kims have a lack of education and social status, they use their combined intelligence to con and manipulate the Park family into hiring all four of them without the Parks knowing of their relation to each other.

Soon, the Kims’ lie begins to spiral out of control and the Parks’ former live-in housekeeper reveals an underground bunker in the mansion that she’s been hiding her husband in. But nothing is truly as shocking and heartbreaking as when the Kims return home after almost getting caught in their lie to see their apartment flooded – truly rock bottom for the family.

Song Kang-ho, portraying the Kims’ father, and Choi Woo-shik, the Kims’ son, both have incredible portrayals of their respective characters, bringing depth and emotion to the extremely hard roles to master.

Kang-ho masterfully portrayed a patriarch who tries so hard to be the best father possible desipte being pushed down by barriers over and over again. In one scene, when he overhears the Parks discussing his odour, you can physically feel the hurt on his face.

Woo-shik also has incredible acting choices and his character brings opportunity to the family, as he is the first to secure a job with the Parks and is subsequently able to employ the rest of his family.

As well, during the film’s incredible flood scene, which immerses you into the world of the struggling family, Woo-shik and Kang-ho embody an immense amount of emotion and brokenness.

The acting in the film was not recognized among its Oscar nominations, but deserves praise for that element of the film as well.

This movie cannot be described in words and can only truly be understood through watching it for yourself. Once you see it, you’ll realize why it deserves the highest level of accolades.

99 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes is hard to achieve. Did this film get that? Yes. Did it deserve that? No, it deserved 100 per cent.