Parasite and the Problem with Class Division


Eli Teeter , Writer

In 2019, Bong Joon-Ho illustrated the landscape of the foreign film industry with his Academy Award winning movie Parasite. Over a year later, through trials and tribulations, Parasite towers above as a solid piece of political commentary and entertainment; with a superb, darkly-humorous, outrageous story of class and the struggle to rise from poverty, Parasite stands as superior accomplishment in cinema.


Parasite is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that hardly ever succeeds in making you uninterested. From the moment you meet the Kim family, a cunning family stricken with poverty, intrigue will fill your inner most thoughts as you grow increasingly curious about each of the four members. Things really get chugging along once you meet the Park family, a wealthy family with everything at their disposal. By the time the Kim family wriggle their way into the Park’s lives, you can’t take your eyes off the screen.

The plan is simple: introduce each Kim into the Park family’s payroll one-by-one, under no suspicion. With masterful planning and wittiness from each Kim, they are part of the Park family in no time, all the while remaining completely unrelated to each other in the Park’s household. Excellent, cunning, and extreme skill at it’s finest.

The way things seem to the Kim’s, every jigsaw is falling into place as planned and no mistake is made… not on their behalf anyway. The events that follow are wildly hectic and dramatically entertaining as we watch the Kim family’s struggle to stay unnoticed, even as the madness enlarges.

Not only is Parasite a very entertaining movie, it’s got something to say. Throughout the entire film we see two drastically different sides of life: the privileged and the impoverished. We start to understand that the Kim’s are not just a smartly talented group of individuals, they are fighting for their livelihoods. You see the Park’s as this family whose troubles seem miniscule in comparison to the difficult lives of the Kim’s. We see the Park family worried about problems such as their daughters’ schooling, their son’s unusual behavior, the cleanliness of their home and who shall be employed as the next family chauffeur; all the while the Kim’s are struggling to stay afloat.

The actions acted-out by each and every character in Parasite is not far from nonfiction, as billions all across the globe look in awe at the lives of those who have everything; they would undertake any task just to see this dream become their reality. The struggle between the clashing families in this movie show that desperation to the most extreme can cause any man or woman to push themselves past the breaking point.

Although Parasite is a Korean film, it won 6 different American Academy Awards including Best Screenplay, Best Director and of course, Best Picture. With the performance of this cinematic masterpiece laid out in front of us, we can see just how substantial a film can be, no matter the origin, and receive the acclaim it deserves.

If you enjoyed this review, you may very well enjoy the movie just as much as the rest of the world did. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who wants to have a very fascinating movie night.