The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

“Parasite” hits nerve on rich and poor gap


“Parasite,” released May 30 in Korea and Nov. 8 in the United States wastes no time in attacking the social problems found in wealthy countries and depicting  how the lower class receives the short end of the stick over and over again. One of numerous movies released in 2019 that highlighted the theme of the wealth gap, “Parasite” has grossed over $160 million worldwide as of Jan. 20 and has received an average rating of 9.37/10 on Rotten Tomatoes, indicating mostly universal praise.

The South Korean made movie follows the Kim family, currently unemployed and desperate for work, who see an opportunity to work for the affluent Park family and take advantage of their high salary. Although some could argue that it portrays the less fortunate family as con artists who want nothing more than to satisfy their greed, a different viewpoint could say that the Kims see the Parks as their only hope of getting out of the slums and start fresh with new opportunities that they won’t find anywhere else.

The dark comedy is masterful at getting reactions from the audience. For instance, the audience giggles as the Kims are scrambling to find free wifi to use in their semi-basement apartment, visibly shift in their seats as they struggle to keep their secret from getting out, and gasp as the Kim’s plan to suppress the secret takes a deadly turn.

Director Bong Joon-ho does a fantastic job of setting the tone of the movie, dividing it into halves. The first half is the buildup, where the Kims plan to replace the Park’s current personal employees is hatched and taken into effect. This is where the movie takes a lighthearted and comedic approach, and things are looking up for the Kims. The second half sharply takes a turn for the worst and everything goes downhill for the Parks. Here, the tone shifts to somber and sad as lives fall apart.

Critic Robert Ebert praises Bong for his “most daring examination of the structural inequity that has come to define the world,” also including cinematographer Kyung-pyo Hong, “an A-list design team,” and Bong’s fellow screenwriter Han Jin-won, describing their end result as “captivating with every single composition.” Indeed, the film seems like it wants its audience to laugh at the Kim’s and Park’s interactions, hold their breath and cringe when the Kims are sneaking out of the Park house undetected, and jump out of their seats when Moon-gang violently falls down the stairs.

“Parasite” is a terrific movie that ingeniously asks the question, “How far is too far when attempting to just walk across the gap between the rich and the poor?” using elements of a wide variety of tone, emotions, and actors that phenomenally played their characters. Quite frankly, it deserves its universal praise.

Feature Image: Courtesy of NEON Studios.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Greyhound Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
“Parasite” hits nerve on rich and poor gap