SourceAccording to Guardian
Bong Joon-Ho Parasite is already a hit story. Winner of the Palme d’Or, the highest prize at the Cannes festival, also as best foreign-language film at the Golden Globes – and therefore the hard-earned best cast during a movie at the Screen Actors Guild awards – it’s now up for 6 Oscars including best picture. Also as earning a staggering number of garlands, the film is additionally a real box-office smash, grossing $73m in its native South Korea and $30m within us. Albeit Parasite went home empty-handed, it’d still have plenty to be pleased with.
Parasite is Bong’s seventh film, a tragicomedy that centres on the Kims, a working-class family of 4 who, one by one, infiltrate and destabilise the house of the ultra-rich Parks from within its sleek glass walls. Kim Ki-woo (Choi Woo-Sik) lands employment as an English tutor to a complicated teenage girl named Park Da-Hye (Jung Zico). He then secures a gig for his enterprising sister Ki-Jung (Park So-dam) as an “art therapist” to Da-Hye’s pampered brother Da-song (Jung Hyeon-jun). Their parents, Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho) and Chung-sook (Jang Hye-jin), also manage to become a part of the Park family’s ecosystem, as Chung-sook replaces longstanding housekeeper Moon-Gwang (Lee Jung-Eun). It’s a giddy thrill to ascertain the Kims swindle and squeeze the Parks for all they’re worth, until, halfway through the movie, Bong ups the stakes by introducing a replacement layer of drama.
Bong has made films in English (2013’s Snowpiercer and 2017’s Okja), but Parasite takes place in South Korea . there’s no English dialogue. That this is often Bong’s crossover hit, which it’s managed to transcend the most straightforward foreign film category (now referred to as “best international feature”) is its miracle. Indeed, in 91 years of the Oscars, it’s only the 12th non-English language film to be nominated for best picture. None of the previous contenders has won. If the Academy Award Parasite the most straightforward picture Oscar, it’ll be a historic result.
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This fact alone may need to be made Parasite the underdog of the pack, had it not been for the film’s confrontational class politics. “They’re rich but still nice,” says Ki-take to his wife. “They’re nice because they’re rich,” she scoffs. “If I were rich, I’d be nice too.” Except the Parks aren’t lovely. Patriarch Park Dong-Sik (Lee Sun-Kyun) wrinkles his nose at Ki-taek’s smell; he’s unable to disguise his contempt for the noticeable stench of poverty.
Still, the film is connecting with audiences. This, I think, is because Bong’s sharp sense of social satire plays second fiddle to his storytelling abilities. The film’s five-act structure is watertight, the pacing of its drama exquisitely judged and therefore the tonal swerve at its midpoint handled with utter confidence. What begins as an upstairs-downstairs comedy of manners is transformed into a thriller, and concludes as a devastating tragedy. The protagonists are deeply flawed, the antagonists sympathetic. This is often classical film-making at its absolute best and most rewarding.
Speaking to Vulture, Bong described the film’s downbeat ending as “a surefire kill”, a downbeat doubling down. As a rule, the Academy’s tendency is towards the feelgood. Parasite is such an entertaining ride, voters could be swayed within the other way . It’d just be in with an opportunity.
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