A wealth of plot twists in Parasite
06 February, 2020 — By Dan Carrier
Kng-Ho Song and Choi Woo-sik in Parasite
Directed by Bong Joon Hoo
THE stark divide between haves and have-nots provides the canvas for this wonderfully chilling, brilliantly original South Korean film.
Soaked in satire, tension and moments of deliriously unexpected twists, director Bong Joon Hoo has created a film that lays bare the pretensions caused by wealth and the effect pressing a nose against the windows of those better off than you has on your psyche.
The Ki-Woo family’s view of the world is through the dirty window of a basement, looking out on to an alley where drunk men come and relieve themselves. They do odd jobs, think up scams, and as a quartet look to find ways to scrape together their daily bread.
Son Ki-Woo (Choi Woo-sik) is told by a friend that he can stand in for him as an English tutor for a teenager of a mega-rich family – and as soon as he steps over the threshold of the stunning Modernist house in the Seoul suburbs, his mind starts whirring as to how he can get more than a piece of their lifestyle.
Opportunities begin to present themselves as the rich employer Mr Park (Lee Sun-kyun) and his wife (Yeo-jeong Jo) are there for the taking.
Son’s sister is quickly enrolled as an art therapist for the family’s disruptive nine year-old… and soon Son’s parents are wriggled into the service of the household.
Joon Ho has managed to combine comedy and tension wonderfully. The scams cooked up have an Ealing Comedy air about them, but as the story develops, there are much darker undertones.
This is social satire, with the wealthy Parks getting both barrels from the director. But perhaps best of all is the completely unexpected nature of the events that unfold – the originality makes the film a complete joy, a great story very well told.