I’m usually scared of watching movies that have received as much hype as Parasite has. Four Academy Awards including the fame for being the very first non-English movie to have won Best Film easily catapults expectations to level 1000. I’m just scared that either the work of art will completely go in the opposite direction of my expectation or that, it’ll be so deep and profound that I won’t even understand it. So I sometimes wait to be a late comer to the club because by then at least 100 YouTube channels and about 2000 blogs will have analyzed the movie left and right for my tiny brain to somehow end up understanding it.
But oh, Parasite.
Where do you even begin when you want to express your experience of a movie like that? I do not want to analyze because clearly, I’m not qualified to do it and secondly the internet is literally flooding with analytical content related to Parasite. Thankfully, I assumed I understood the movie in the first go but I went to the internet and anyway – simply to be mind blown at how many details one can miss at a first watch. How many layers of genius there is in there is, to say the very least, jaw-dropping.
Parasite is simply about the class division in society. The unending story of the rich v/s the poor and how both just remain where they are, regardless of each of their potential to slide below or above their assigned status. The perception and visualization of this class division by Bong Joon-Ho brought him an Oscar alright; but it has also gotten the socialists of the world awed. No one ever did it better; not even close. ‘Smell’ is the element he chose to be the key symbol of class division indication; which in itself is so new and convincing that it alters the complete story of all families involved towards the end.
It’s a story of a poor family that outwits a rich one to land jobs, without the rich family having a hint that it was all manipulated. But they end up encountering more surprises than their own story of witty deception when they have finally made it to where they thought they wanted; and things spiral like we’d never expect. And oh, how they spiral. With montages created with ballet tracks, motifs, patterns of tangible and symbolic elements and some serious acting. The few scenes leading to the climax starting with a birthday party for the rich child are only watched with your jaws on the floor.
Parasite does not flinch one bit from throwing the reality at your face. It’s not sympathetic towards the poor and does not advocate socialist ideas. It just presents what it is like in real – that even the poor don’t reflect the ‘upliftment’ ideals otherwise preached. The class division is a scary reality that no one really is attempting to break out of; and sometimes it has extreme repercussions. And then it returns to its original excruciating form, with different members perhaps.
Some works of art really just deserve every bit of praise we can give them. Parasite isn’t the kind of movie that looks for it; but got it nonetheless. To have conceptualized something so grave and have presented it in such engrossing manner is Bong Joon-Ho’s trump card. He’s blown everyone’s minds with it.