Bong Joon-ho’s Palme d’Or winner Parasite is another masterful work from the Korean filmmaker. It is a film that is darkly funny and poignant. Skillfully mixing satire with pathos, the film is an enthralling look at systemic class divide from the perspective of two distinct families.

When Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) cons his way into being a tutor for the daughter of the wealthy Park family, he devises a plan to get his entire family – father Ki-teak (Song Kang-ho), mother Chung-sook (Chang Hyae-jin) and sister Ki-jung (Park Do-dam) – working for the clan as well. Posing as complete strangers, the swindlers see this ruse as a chance to earn enough money to get out of their ratty basement apartment.

Parasite uses the stark contrast of the two families’ living arrangements to hit home the staggering wealth gap in society. Bong’s sharp visual eye captures how one person’s lavish architectural home is another’s menacing prison. Though we may laugh at the conning family’s antics, the film never loses sight of their reality. Effortlessly mixing genres, Parasite is a brilliant work that emphasizes that the stairway to financial freedom is rarely accessible to those who need it the most.

Screens:
Friday, September 6, Ryerson Theatre, 8:30 PM
Saturday, September 7, Scotiabank, 1:30 PM

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