Earlier this year, the South Korean film ‘Parasite’ scooped the pool at the Academy Awards including nabbing the Best Picture Oscar. It’s easy seeing why as its themes of social inequality and wealth disparity are universally known issues. Having given a different slant to the sci-fi genre with ‘Snowpiercer’, director Bong Joon-ho crafts an interesting comedy drama most can relate to.

The Kims are a family of four living in a small basement apartment. Struggling to make ends meet via dead end jobs, they continually dream of better things. When the chance arises to con their way into becoming servants for the wealthy Parks family, they take it. Quickly the Kims’ fortunes chart fresh waters and their lives improve. When their con is about to potentially be exposed, things go awry as they try desperately to cling onto their new life.

Like any good film, ‘Parasite’ has an abundance of interesting themes amidst an arresting script. The ‘parasite’ title could relate to how money lures the Kims into their actions or it could mean how the rich view those on the lower rung of society. These are expertly interwoven into the narrative with Bong Joon-ho’s direction teasing out the humour and tension in equal measures.

As with ‘Snowpiercer’, ‘Parasite’ is a character driven story full of unexpected twists. It makes a virtue of being unpredictable with a dog eat dog mentality between rich and poor starkly seen. There are no true heroes or villains but you understand viewpoints for all sides making for a consistently fascinating viewing experience.

‘Parasite’ is a solid work from an accomplished director. Now he’s won multiple awards for this, it will be interesting seeing where Bong Joon-ho goes next. If he shakes Hollywood out of its apathy that would be a good thing and would make his impoverished ‘Parasite’ characters proud.

Rating out of 10: 8


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