Parasite – The Korean Movie that everyone is now discussing

In spite of being an avid K-drama fan, I never quite caught on to watching K-movies. But Parasite, with its numerous accolades, beckoned at me to give it a watch and so I did.

I watched it without having high expectations, not because I am dismissive of its awards, but because I have this impression that award-winning movies are generally boring, artsy fartsy and hard to understand. But the pace of the movie is surprisingly fast and intrigued me within the first 10 minutes.

*spoilers ahead*

Shrewd Poor Family Infiltrating Into The Rich’s house

It is interesting and quite satisfying to see how the poor family managed to con their way into a rich family by lying through their teeth and superb acting. Bit by bit, the poor family succeeded in inching themselves into the wealthy family, first starting with the son becoming the tutor, followed by the daughter entering the household as an “art therapist”, then her father joining in as the driver, and lastly the mother making her way in to replace the original housekeeper whom they managed to kick out by staging her illness.

The Poor Should Know Their Place?

With the successful manipulation of the rich couple, the poor family thought they had everything under control and allowed themselves to imagine a better life, yet all comes to a nought when the rich family suddenly came back from a sudden trip and they are left scrambling to remove traces of themselves in the supposed empty house.

The poor family had gotten ahead of themselves and thought they were being clever with their manipulation, even allowing themselves to think that they are liked by their wealthy employees and of the same hierachy. However hearing the rich couple talk candidly about their foul smell behind their back was a rude awakening that they are still regarded as second-class citizens even if they thought they are doing a good pretence.

Parasites Leeching On The Rich

The other twist came about when the poor family realised that they are not the only ones leeching off the rich. The previous housekeeper was also leeching on the wealthy couple by hiding her husband in a secret basement, secretly living off the rich couple without anyone’s knowing.

Now that the old housekeeper and the new poor family knew each other’s secret, the next challenge would be hiding the secret and preventing the other party from revealing it to the rich owner.

Drastic situation calls for drastic action, especially when one is that desperate to keep it a secret for livelihood. What entails next is a bloodbath where people are killed to keep the secret in the bag. But after killing the housekeeper, what’s next? How should they continue with their lives and lies?

We see the poor family’s fall from grace when they originally had some semblance of reputable jobs, which they jeopardise on their own.

Is Escaping from Poverty all a Pipe Dream?

The series of lies and wrong actions all culminate during a party where the housekeeper’s husband who had been living in the basement broke free and rushed in to kill Jessica, the daughter who had been pretending to be an art therapist. As her father rushed over to hold his daughter, the rich owner shouted at him to leave and drive their family out of this mayhem.

Suddenly all the angst about the class inequality and the helplessness of seeing his daughter dying in front of him without anyone knowing that ir is his daughter exploded and he went ahead to kill the rich owner instead.

At the end of the day, in a bid to escape the poverty cycle, the poor family ended up worse off than before. The daughter is dead and the father turned into a wanted murderer. Ironically, he went to hide in the basement, which was originally the sanctuary for the other poor man. He was still living like a parasite, leeching on the new rich family that moved in, and unable to show himself to anyone.

At the end of the day, he is still living beneath the rich, where he cannot be seen. His son harboured a dream of one day owning their mansion, where his father can then emerge from the basement with no worry of being seen by the owner, however the stark reality is that everyone knows that this is just a pipe dream.

What are your thoughts about Parasite?