By Kai Lock
“Oscar Season” is done and awards have been given out, including the most controversial award, Best Picture. It’s controversial in terms of deciphering the varying opinions and factors that are within the film. This year Best Picture was awarded to “Parasite,” the international Korean thriller movie given to us by Bong Joon Ho.
“Parasite” is undoubtedly the best movie of 2019. The film buries metaphors and messages the director indirectly tells the audience. In a way, there are subtle clues to hint at what the characters represent and symbolize. This subtlety exceedingly improves the film’s quality. Movies that blurt a theme in your face come across as mediocre and boring.
The story begins with a poor family: a mother, a father, a daughter and a son. They live in a small honest home, underground, which seems to be a trend throughout the film. The family struggles to find a steady job and earn a living, they fold pizza boxes for money.
The son of the family, Ki-woo, meets up with a friend who comes back from college and offers him a job as an English tutor. He humbly accepts his offer and sees that his new student belongs to a rich family who, in a twisted sense, are a younger parallel representation of his own family.
Each member in the impoverished family living underground somehow worm their way into the new rich home. They become the parasite that feeds off this new family, and everything seems great for awhile. They live the life they would dream of and even plan further to make their new dreams come true.
Of course, this doesn’t last long. Their dream has complications and their fantasy faces reality, the cold hard truth that is their society. The rude awakening flips a switch in a specific family member and things change forever. The awakening is a part of the symbolism and message the director has been trying to hint at since the initial start of the film.
Ultimately “Parasite” deserved Best Picture because of the meticulous work put into every single factor that goes into excellent film making. The cinematography is absolutely beautiful. I believe the mood set into each frame is emotionally connected to the underprivileged family; you can feel the dullness of the word and the sorrow. It’s almost as if you watch life through their eyes and feel the emotions that are explained without the help of dialogue and acting.
The award-winning dialogue is one of the vital things that allow the audience to stay invested and connect to the characters. You can see the high quality of the dialogue consistently throughout the film by the development of the characters and how their conversations with each other slowly begin to change. It becomes poetic and even inspiring. A scene between son and father becomes a life lesson, a conversation that seems to change the son’s view of his plan for life.
It’s films like “Parasite” that impact the industry, not only in the sense that it made history on Oscar night, but in the way it was executed. Something that makes a film stand out from the rest is its ability to make different interpretations to all those who watch it. Many who have watched “Parasite” come away with their own personal interpretation of what message the film tries to convey.
Of course, there are other critics of “ Parasite” that weren’t too happy when Best Original Screenplay was announced. People like Jon Miller.
Jon Miller is Blaze TV’s host of the “ White House Brief” and he was happy to share his opinion about the director, Bong Joon Ho, and his speech.
Miller tweeted that people like Ho are the “destruction of America.” He received various amounts of backlash from the public, including contradicting comments from celebrities like Chrissy Teigen and husband John Legend.
Miller later stated that his comments were misunderstood by the public as he was simply trying to say that Hollywood chose “Parasite” over two other deserving films to “ show how woke they are.”
Despite what Miller believes, he chooses not to see the beauty that comes from within other films that are achieved by stories that take place outside of English-speaking territory. The film industry has finally recognized a very human story that comes from a foreign country.
“Parasite” is a story of complex humans and the very thing every human seeks in life: happiness. It’s a story of two families who believe they deserve all the happiness they hope to grasp. Miller chooses to focus on the differences between the characters on the screen and the people in American society. However, similarities exist and the families Bong Joon Ho has written about are people who live around us, and to some, embody their own characteristics.
Featured Image ( at the top of this post): This is a piece of artwork that shows the poor family folding pizza boxes underwater. PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram @claireclockwork