Parasite (Bong Joon Ho – 2019) A

There is a sequence in this excellent film where the Kim family is having to make a run to their home. They have to make it there after leaving the gorgeous home they were working at (sort of working). That one is the Parks’ residence. It’s pouring rain and the Kim’s keep going down, and down and down. They keep walking past nice homes and the more they walk the worse the neighborhoods look. It’s still pouring rain and now flooding as they get to the bottom and then to their home, literally under the street level. Their little below street apartment and the whole neighborhood is filling with sewer water, the toilet starts spewing and the daughter, Ki-Jung, sits on the lid and starts smoking a cigarette. The next morning, Mrs. Park in her beautifully tailored clothing, remarks to Mr. Kim about how wonderful the rain was that “cleaned” the city up! This was a brilliantly shot and executed metaphor for the whole film. The insane economic disparity between the rich and poor. They really live in different worlds.

Bong Joon Ho’s film is about that disparity and the lengths people can go to bridge the gap, but it is not an “eat the rich” film. I do not think it is saying one is bad and the other is good. Although a case can be made that the Kim’s are unscrupulous, perhaps criminal and the worst that the Parks can be accused of is being oblivious or sheltered. They seem like decent people who worked hard and got to a certain status in life. What Ho’s primary point, in a very intricate and entertaining film that I have not even scratched the surface of its plot, is that the system we are living in is to blame. It’s unfair and intended to keep people where they are regardless of anyone’s good intentions.

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