Review of Parasite (Movie) – Xixiang Weng (weng.156)

The material I choose for this assignment is a Korean film named Parasite, which is released in 2019. The plot of this movie starts as Kim Ki-woo, who is the son of Kim’s family got a tutor job of Park family by the recommendation of his friend. After that, all the members of Kim’s family use some strategy to successfully get jobs in the Park family. During the time working for Park’s family, the difference of the social class initials the contradiction between two families. At last, in an accidental event, the father of the Park’s family is killed by the father of Kim’s family.

In this movie, “smell” and “line” go through the most of plot and they become the sign of the social status. For instance, in the middle of the movie, while Kim’s family make a party at Park’s house when they think Park’s family is go hiking and won’t return in a short time, Park’s family suddenly go back home since the change of weather. Kim’s family hide under the sofa in a hurry. Father of the Park family don’t see them and start to make a casual talk to his wife which is about he thinks father of Kim’s family smells bad, and usually pass the “line”, such as talk to him like they are friends, which make him very uncomfortable. This conversation is heard by Kim’s family hiding under the sofa in the meantime. When I watch this plot last year, I used to think about where the “smell” on Kim’s family comes from and what is the “line” they talk about. After thinking about it, I think the “smell” of Kim’s family is the moldy smell of the semi-basement without sunlight. However, I think the “smell” represents more than itself. It reveals the different living environments between rich and poor people which can also be extended to the concern of difference of social status. The father of the Park family also really cares about the “line” between himself and the father of Kim’s family. He cannot bear that poor people talk to him in a relative equals atmosphere. In his mind, Kim’s family is treated as “Othering”. This is very similar to the condition Ortiz faced in the material we have read before, “The Story of My Body”. The only difference I think between those two is that Ortiz is treated as “Othering” by her physical looking, but Kim’s family is treated as “Othering” by their socioeconomic status.

In general, I think the creator of this movie wants the audience to think about the cruelty and injustice caused by wealth differentiation. In my opinion, he did a very good job. He skillfully uses the “smell” and “line” to represent the injustice and the difference of identity and power between rich and poor people, but not state them directly. I think in this way the audience could get more impressive and deeper thinking about the injustice and “Othering”.

One thought on “Review of Parasite (Movie) – Xixiang Weng (weng.156)

  1. The film is shot like a thriller, and despite his typical tonal transitions, Bong alternately conjures action sequences out of mundane domesticity. Parasite is a beautifully shot, sympathetically told, intimate social drama, which is paced to perfection until the end when what was a subtle. https://www.faimission.org/

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