Movie Review: Parasite
Is there any difference between aspiration and pretense? This question is what the Korean tale ‘Parasite’ dwells upon; the idea that transforming the life of one beneath society by making them suddenly clown over the rich can take maneuvers as simple as pretending to be someone that person could be one day.
The protagonist’s family showed that they could be so much more, yet they lived below their potential. It speaks a lot considering today’s standards and opportunities. The movie clearly shows that the protagonist is smart and capable of wonders, yet instead of putting his heels to the grind, he climbs his way to the top – or at least an illusion of it. He does so by slowly implanting the seeds to get not only himself, but his entire family into a rich family’s abode.
Each family member plays a trick, not only on the rich family, but upon themselves as well. They let the truth slide away, allowing themselves to believe in a lie. Each member plays their part so well, proving that they do not need to stay so low while trying to achieve their dreams.
One of the messages of the movie is that you really do go back where you belong, because karma catches up to everyone. I believe this is one of the messages this film tries to evoke. In my opinion, just like the depiction in this movie, we all let down our guard at least once in our lives, and end up making a terrible mistake, which happens to be something that is the first domino in a chain of many. The negatives matched the family’s positive trail, but even by the end, the potential for the greatest did not wither away. The film explains that to reach one’s potential, we need a goal or a stake, or sometimes maybe a heavy blow.
The film also uses dance to express ‘what is’ and ‘what can be’, and emphasizes on how the link between these two factors can open the door to a field known as: ‘what you failed to see’. The movie plays out very casually, but since the name “Parasite” can never be mean anything positive, it keeps the audience guessing about just what it is that will go wrong. The piece plays with foreshadowing well enough, but ever so subtly, that even an obvious scene such as a mystery box plays itself with such suspense. Yes, even this movie utilizes such a tactic, but the viewer would never have expected that it is what makes the whole story come full circle.
How does one get out of a moment creeping up to shattering the pretense? Well, the answer could be another pretense; another spell cast right under everyone’s nose, but the simple fact is that what goes up must ultimately come down. The movies plays around with this theme quite a lot. It is represented through the places where each family lives, and how the more lavishly they act, the higher they go. You can distinguish the positive moments by scenes where the protagonist’s family is content and succeeding, like the one where they are at sea, while the negative moments are almost always filled with scenes of the family’s downfall. Another key point to notice is that when the situation is at its worst, the family is forced back to where they started. This is quite ironic as it ultimately shows that nothing ever goes as one plans, even if it’s expectations of failure or loss.
So, these were my abrupt and honest thoughts on the movie, moments after watching the film. Parasite makes you reflect on the idea of where we are and where we can be. When we get so desperate that we are ready to compromise anything, even our own identity, that is when we are doomed to lose everything.