The Oscar winning film, which redefines genre norms, will now open the door for other foreign language films.


Slate Magazine

The director of the film, Bong Joon-Ho, posed with his Oscars over the weekend.

Parasite is a film directed by Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho. It’s about the Kim family, who are fairly poor and end up taking interest in a very wealthy family, the Parks. Everyone in the Kim family is unemployed. Each of them manages to get jobs working for the Park family without them knowing that the people they are hiring are all part of the same family and scamming them. Everything seems to be going their way, but when something unexpected happens it changes both of the family’s lives forever. In cinema, A masterpiece is not a word most people throw around lightly, but this is a movie that most critics and average moviegoers agree is just that, which is shown by the four Oscars the film won including best picture making it the first foreign-language film to ever do so. Parasite is a highly original film and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film quite like it and I don’t think I ever will again.

The first act of the picture is treated much like a comedy with bright colors and playful dialogue, but after an incident that happens later in the movie, it becomes twisted and it’s darker tone comes into play. The movie is very smart about its humor. It doesn’t treat it’s characters as though they are dumb because they aren’t. I can understand why someone wouldn’t really call this a comedy. In our day and age, most associate the word comedy with something like an Adam Sandler or Will Ferrel movie; however, this is not that. It’s not the type of movie where people are rolling on the floor in tears. It’s very realistic and feels like a lot of it is something that can actually happen in peoples’ day to day lives. It is all key components to what I would say is one of the best screenplays and some of the best directing of last year. 

Taylor Fox”

— I really appreciate how director Bong Joon-Ho was able to play around with different genres in this film.

Bong Joon-Ho was already considered an amazing director, with films like The Host, Snowpiercer, and Okja. With Parasite, he cements himself as one of the greatest directors of this generation. He managed to create one of the most original pieces of cinema of the last decade by mixing genres and social queues. Senior Taylor Fox expressed her opinion about the director by saying, “I really appreciate how director Bong Joon-Ho was able to play around with different genres in this film. I love how he gives it a very full heart but at a moment’s notice he changes the tone to make it about lies and deception. I’d much rather see a movie that challenges genre norms than one that plays by the books.”  There’s a scene in this movie that I believe is one of the greatest sequences in cinema history. Although my job is not to spoil the movie, the scene involves a specific flavored fruit.

In his acceptance speech for best director at the Golden Globe awards, Bong Joon-Ho stated that “Once you overcome the 1-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.” This is a quote that has stuck with me since I first heard it. It’s something that I think is very important today. People say they won’t watch a foreign language film because they don’t want to read the entire film. I feel that the general public now views cinema as something that is thrown on in the background rather than an art that hundreds of people put their time and effort into. There’s a lot of amazing films out there that people won’t watch because it’s in a different language, it’s a shame that people have that type of mindset. I’m hoping that because Parasite won Best Picture at the Oscars, it’ll open people up to a whole new world of art with foreign language films. There are so many movies like Parasite that should and deserve to be seen.