Parasite
The Official Poster of Parasite.
South Korean theatrical release poster
Hangul기생충
Hanja寄生蟲
Revised RomanizationGisaengchung
McCune–ReischauerKisaengch'ung
Directed byBong Joon-ho
Produced by
  • Kwak Sin-ae
  • Moon Yang-kwon
  • Bong Yok-cho
  • Jang Young-hwan
Screenplay by
Story byBong Joon-ho[1]
Starring
Music byJung Jae-il[1]
CinematographyHong Kyung-pyo[2]
Edited byYang Jin-mo
Production
company
Barunson E&A[1]
Distributed by
Release date
  • 21 May 2019 (2019-05-21) (Cannes)
  • 30 May 2019 (2019-05-30) (South Korea)
Running time
132 minutes[3][4]
CountrySouth Korea[1][3]
LanguageKorean
Budget₩13.5 billion[5]
(~US$11.4 million)
Box office$222.4 million[6][7]

Parasite (Korean기생충; RRGisaengchung) is a 2019 South Korean black comedy thriller film directed by Bong Joon-ho, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Han Jin-won. It stars Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, and Jang Hye-jin and follows the members of a poor family who scheme to become employed by a wealthy family by infiltrating their household and posing as unrelated, highly qualified individuals.

Parasite premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival on 21 May 2019, where it became the first South Korean film to win the Palme d'Or and the first film to win with a unanimous vote since Blue Is the Warmest Colour at the 2013 Festival. It was then released in South Korea by CJ Entertainment on 30 May 2019. The film received critical acclaim, with praise for Bong's screenplay and direction, performances (particularly that of Song and Cho), social commentary, humor, and editing, and has featured in listings of the best films of the 2010s. It has grossed over $234 million worldwide on a production budget of about $11 million, becoming one of the highest-grossing South Korean films.

Among its numerous accolades, Parasite won a leading four awards at the 92nd Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film. It became the first South Korean film to receive Academy Award recognition, as well as the first film in a language other than English to win Best Picture.[note 1] It also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film and the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language, and became the first non-English-language film to win the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

Plot

The Kim family—father Ki-taek, mother Chung-sook, daughter Ki-jung and son Ki-woo—live in a small semi-basement apartment (banjiha),[10] have low-paying temporary jobs as pizza box folders, and struggle to make ends meet.[11] One day, Min-hyuk, a friend of Ki-woo's and a university student, gives the family a scholar's rock, which is meant to promise wealth to whoever possesses it. He suggests that, when he leaves to study abroad, Ki-woo should take over his job as an English tutor to the wealthy Park family's daughter, Da-hye. Ki-woo poses as a university student and is hired by the Parks; Mrs. Park decides they will call him "Kevin".

Subsequently, the Kim family begins to infiltrate the home of the Parks by recommending each other's services, posing as unrelated but sophisticated skilled workers. Ki-woo tutors and begins a romance with Da-hye. Ki-jung poses as "Jessica", an art therapist, who agrees to counsel the Parks' restless young son, Da-song. Ki-jung frames Mr. Park's chauffeur as having had sex in the car, and Ki-taek is hired to replace him. Finally, Chung-sook takes over as the Parks' housekeeper after the Kims exploit the severe peach allergy of the long-time housekeeper, Moon-gwang, and convince Mrs. Park that she has tuberculosis.

When the Parks leave to go on a camping trip, the Kim family revels in the luxuries of the Park residence. Moon-gwang suddenly returns, saying she has left something in the house's basement. There, she reveals to Chung-sook a hidden entrance to an underground bunker, created by the house's architect and previous owner. Moon-gwang's husband, Geun-sae, began secretly living underneath the home to hide from loan sharks before the Parks moved in years ago. Moon-gwang pleads with Chung-sook to continue to help Geun-sae survive in the bunker, but she refuses. After the truth about the Kim family is accidentally revealed, Moon-gwang threatens to tell the Parks their secret if the Kims do not keep her own.

Because of a rainstorm, the Parks return home early from their camping trip, and the Kim family scrambles to clean up the home, while a brawl breaks out among Moon-gwang, Geun-sae, and the Kims. The Kims trap Geun-sae and a mortally wounded Moon-gwang in the bunker. After Chung-sook serves her dinner, Mrs. Park reveals to her that Da-song had a seizure-inducing traumatic experience years ago when he witnessed a "ghost" (Geun-sae) emerging from the basement. The Kims escape the Parks' house, but not before hearing Mr. Park's off-handed comments about how Ki-taek smells bad. The Kims return to their apartment to find it completely flooded by the storm, and are forced to sleep in a gymnasium with other displaced people.

The next day, Mrs. Park decides to host a party for Da-song's birthday. She invites Ki-jung and Ki-woo, while Ki-taek and Chung-sook are required to attend as employees. In the middle of the party, Ki-woo heads down to the bunker with the scholar's rock to face Geun-sae. He is attacked by Geun-sae, who bludgeons him with the rock and escapes. Seeking to avenge Moon-gwang, Geun-sae stabs Ki-jung with a kitchen knife in front of the horrified guests. Da-song suffers a trauma-induced seizure upon seeing Geun-sae, and a struggle breaks out until Chung-sook kills Geun-sae with a skewer. While Ki-taek attempts to help Ki-jung, Mr. Park orders him to drive Da-song to the hospital. In the chaos, Ki-taek, upon seeing Mr. Park's disgusted reaction to Geun-sae's smell, takes the knife and kills Mr. Park before fleeing the scene.

Weeks later, Ki-woo has survived the attack and wakes up after brain surgery. He and Chung-sook are convicted of fraud and put on probation. Ki-jung has died from her injury and Ki-taek, who is wanted for Mr. Park's murder, has vanished. Geun-sae's motives for the attack are a mystery to the public. Ki-woo scopes out the Parks' home, which has now been sold to a German family unaware of its history, and sees a message in Morse code from the flickering lights. It is from Ki-taek, who escaped to the bunker and now survives by scavenging from the new home-owners. Still living in the semi-basement apartment with his mother, Ki-woo writes an unsent letter to Ki-taek, vowing that he will earn enough money to one day purchase the house and free his father.

Cast

  • Song Kang-ho as Kim Ki-taek (김기택; Gim Gitaek), father of the Kim family
  • Choi Woo-shik as Kim Ki-woo (Kevin; 김기우; Gim Giu), son of the Kim family
  • Park So-dam as Kim Ki-jung (Jessica; 김기정; Gim Gijeong), daughter of the Kim family
  • Jang Hye-jin as Park Chung-sook (박충숙; Bak Chungsuk), mother of the Kim family
  • Lee Sun-kyun as Park Dong-ik (Nathan; 박동익; Bak Dongik), father of the Park family
  • Cho Yeo-jeong as Choi Yeon-gyo (최연교; Choe Yeongyo), mother of the Park family
  • Jung Ji-so as Park Da-hye (박다혜; Bak Dahye), daughter of the Park family
  • Jung Hyeon-jun as Park Da-song (박다송; Bak Dasong), son of the Park family
  • Lee Jung-eun as Gook Moon-gwang (국문광; Guk Mungwang), the housekeeper
  • Park Myung-hoon as Oh Geun-sae (오근세; O Geunse), Moon-gwang's husband
  • Park Geun-rok as Kim Ki-taek's predecessor as Park Dong-ik's chauffeur (only mentioned as Yun gisa [윤 기사; lit. chauffeur Yoon], without a given name)
  • Park Seo-joon as Min-hyuk (민혁; Minhyeok), Ki-Woo’s friend (cameo appearance)[12]

Production

Development

The idea for Parasite originated in 2013. While working on Snowpiercer, Bong was encouraged by a theatre actor friend to write a play. He had been a tutor for the son of a wealthy family in Seoul in his early 20s, and considered turning his experience into a stage production.[13] The film's title, Parasite, was selected by Bong as it served a double meaning, which he had to convince the film's marketing group to use. Bong said "Because the story is about the poor family infiltrating and creeping into the rich house, it seems very obvious that Parasite refers to the poor family, and I think that's why the marketing team was a little hesitant. But if you look at it the other way, you can say that rich family, they're also parasites in terms of labor. They can't even wash dishes, they can't drive themselves, so they leech off the poor family's labor. So both are parasites."[14]

Darcy Paquet, an American residing in Korea, served as translator for the English subtitles and worked directly with Bong.[15] Paquet rendered Jjapaguri or Chapaguri (짜파구리), a dish cooked by a character in the film, as ram-don, meaning ramen-udon. It is a mix of Chapagetti and Neoguri.[16] The English version of the film shows packages labelled in English "ramyeon" and "udon" to highlight to English speakers how the name was created. Paquet believed the word ram-don did not previously exist as he found no results on Google.[17] On one occasion, Paquet used Oxford University as a reference instead of Seoul National University, and in another, used WhatsApp as the messaging application instead of KakaoTalk.[15] Paquet chose Oxford over Harvard University because of Bong's affinity for the United Kingdom, and because Paquet believed using Harvard would be "too obvious a choice."[17] Paquet wrote, "[I]n order for humor to work, people need to understand it immediately. With an unfamiliar word, the humor is lost."[17]

Writing

After completing Snowpiercer, Bong wrote a 15-page film treatment for the first half of Parasite, which his production assistant on Snowpiercer, Han Jin-won, turned into three different drafts of the screenplay.[13] After finishing Okja, Bong returned to the project and finished the script; Han received credit as a co-writer.[13]

Bong said the film was influenced by the 1960 Korean "domestic Gothic" film The Housemaid in which a middle-class family's stability is threatened by the arrival of a disruptive interloper in the form of household help.[18] The incident of Christine and Léa Papin—two live-in maids who murdered their employers in 1930s France—also served as a source of inspiration to Bong.[19] Bong also considered his own past, where he had tutored for a rich family. Bong said "I got this feeling that I was infiltrating the private lives of complete strangers. Every week I would go into their house, and I thought how fun it would be if I could get all my friends to infiltrate the house one by one."[20]

Filming

Principal photography for Parasite began on 18 May 2018[21][22] and ended 124 days later on 19 September 2018.[23] Filming took place around Seoul and in Jeonju.[24]

The Parks' house was an entirely newly-built set. The first floor and the garden were constructed on an empty outdoor lot, while the basement and second floor were constructed on set.[25] Bong, as part of the scripting, had also designed the basic layout of this home. "It's like its own universe inside this film. Each character and each team has spaces that they take over that they can infiltrate, and also secret spaces that they don't know."[26] A fictional architect Namgoong Hyeonja had been introduced as the home's designer and the previous owner before the Parks, and production designer Lee Ha-jun considered the function and form of the house based on how Namgoong would have designed it.[25]

Ha-Jun said, "Since Mr Park's house is built by an architect in the story, it wasn't easy finding the right approach to designing the house...I'm not an architect, and I think there's a difference in how an architect envisions a space and how a production designer does. We prioritize blocking and camera angles while architects build spaces for people to actually live in and thus design around people. So I think the approach is very different."[26] For example, Ha-jun established that Namgoong would have used the first floor's living room to appreciate the garden, so it was built with a single wide window and only spartan seating options for this function.[25] Some of the interior artwork in the house sets were by South Korea artist Seung-mo Park, including existing artwork of hers and some explicitly created for the film.[25] Further, design of the home and of its interiors were aimed to make the set amenable for filming at the 2.35:1 aspect ratio, favoring wide and deeper rooms rather than height.[26]

Ha-jun said the sun was an important factor with building the outdoor set. "The sun's direction was a crucial point of consideration while we were searching for outdoor lots," explained Lee. "We had to remember the sun's position during our desired time frame and determine the positions and sizes of the windows accordingly. In terms of practical lighting, the DP [director of photography Hong Kyung-pyo] had specific requests regarding the color. He wanted sophisticated indirect lighting and the warmth from tungsten light sources. Before building the set, the DP and I visited the lot several times to check the sun's movement at each time, and we decided on the set's location together."[26]

The Kim's semi-basement apartment and its street was also built on set, partially out of necessity for filming the flooding scenes.[26] Ha-jun visited and photographed several abandoned villages and towns in South Korea scheduled to be torn down to help inform the set design. He also created stories for the Kim's neighbors and added details of those residents along the street to improve the authenticity of the street's appearance.[25]

According to editor Yang Jin-mo, Bong Joon-ho chose to shoot the film without traditional coverage. To give them more editing options with limited shots, they sometimes stitched together different takes of the same shot.[27]

Music

Parasite: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Jung Jae-il
Released30 May 2019
Recorded2019
GenreSoundtrack
Length52:14
LanguageKorean
Label
Singles from Parasite: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  1. "Soju One Glass"
    Released: 30 May 2019

The film's score was written by South Korean composer Jung Jae-il, who also wrote the score for Bong Joon-ho's 2017 film Okja. Jung's music for Parasite consists of "minimalist piano pieces, punctuated with light percussion," which sets the film's "tense atmosphere."[28] Excerpts from Handel's opera Rodelinda and the 1964 Italian song "In ginocchio da te" by Gianni Morandi also appear in the film.[28]

The end credits song "Soju One Glass" (Korean: 소주 한 잔) was written by Bong and is performed by Choi Woo-shik, who also played the main character Ki-woo.[29] When the song made to the December 2019 shortlist for the 92nd Academy Awards in the Best Original Song category,[29] it was listed under a grammatically correct English title, "A Glass of Soju".[30]

The English titles of the scores listed below are as displayed in the back cover of the album and in the international digital releases of the soundtrack;[31][32] the romanisation of names and nouns used are slightly different from those seen in the official English subtitles as translated by Darcy Paquet.

Original track list
No.TitleLength
1."Opening" (시작, 'Start')2:07
2."Conciliation I" (첫번째 알선, 'First conciliation')1:04
3."On the Way to Rich House" (부잣집 가는 길, 'On the way to the house of a wealthy family')0:55
4."Conciliation II" (두번째 알선, 'Second conciliation')1:10
5."Plum Juice" (매실청, Maesilcheong)0:55
6."Mr. Yoon and Park" (윤기사와 박사장, 'Chauffeur Yoon and President Park')1:51
7."Conciliation III" (세번째 알선, 'Third conciliation')1:17
8."The Belt of Faith" (믿음의 벨트, 'Chain of trust')7:13
9."Moon Gwang Left" (떠나는 문광, 'Moon-gwang leaving')0:56
10."Camping" (야영)3:05
11."The Hellgate" (지옥의 문, 'Gate of Hell')1:15
12."Heartrending Story of Bubu" (부부의 사연, 'Story of a married couple')1:35
13."Zappaguri" (짜파구리, Jjapaguri[a])1:47
14."Ghost" (유령)2:00
15."The Family is Busy" (첫번째 동분서주, 'First busyness')1:09
16."Busy to Survive" (두번째 동분서주, 'Second busyness')1:53
17."The Frontal Lobe of Ki Taek" (기택의 전두엽)2:42
18."Water, Ocean" (물바다, 'Flood')4:41
19."Water, Ocean Again" (또 물바다, 'Flood again')1:36
20."It Is Sunday Morning" (일요일 아침, 'Sunday morning')4:03
21."Blood and Sword" (피와 칼, 'Blood and knife')3:02
22."Yasan" (야산, 'Hillock')1:15
23."Moving" (이사)1:44
24."Ending" (, 'End')0:53
25."Soju One Glass" (소주 한 잔, 'A glass of soju'; performed by Choi Woo-shik)3:20
Total length:52:14
  1. ^ A mixture of Chapagetti and Neoguri, translated as "ramdon" in the official English subtitles of the film.

Themes and interpretations

The main themes of Parasite are class conflict, social inequality and wealth disparity.[33][34] Film critics and Bong Joon-ho himself have considered the film as a reflection of late-stage capitalism,[35][36] and some have associated it with the term "Hell Joseon", a phrase which has become popular, especially with young people, in the late 2010s to describe the difficulties of life in South Korea.[37][38] The film also analyses the use of "connections" to get ahead, especially for rich families[39] but also for the poor Kims as well.

Critics have also considered the themes of colonialism and imperialism. According to Ju-Hyun Park, the film plays out within "the capitalist economic order inaugurated and upheld in Korea by colonial occupation," and the use of English language in the film denotes prestige within that economic system.[40] The Park family's son, Da-song, is obsessed with "Indians" and owns Native American-themed toys and inauthentic replicas.[41][42] Bong has noted that "the Native Americans have a very complicated and long, deep history. But in this family, that story is reduced to a young boy's hobby and decoration... That's what happens in our current time: The context and meaning behind these actual things only exists as a surface-level thing."[43]

Bong has referred to Parasite as an upstairs/downstairs or "stairway movie",[19] in which staircases are used as a motif to represent the positions of the Kim and Park families as well as those of Moon-gwang.[44] The semi-basement apartment that the Kims live in are common for poorer Seoul residents due to their low rent prices, despite having several issues such as mold and increased risk of disease.[33] Monsoon floods such as the one depicted in the film commonly damage these types of residences the most.[39]

According to Bong, the ending implies that Ki-woo will not be able to earn the funds needed to buy the house as it shows Ki-woo while still in the basement; he described this shot as a "surefire kill" (확인사살), referring to a coup de grace to ensure death.[19] The ending song refers to Ki-woo working to make money to get the house; Choi Woo-shik stated that "I'm pretty sure Ki-woo is one of those bright kids. He'll come up with some idea, and he would just go into the German family's house, and I think he will rescue his father."[45] According to many interpretations, this dream ascribes to a bootstrapping mentality and is unlikely to be achieved;[19][35][45] furthermore, "it does not address the fundamental problem at hand. Even in this fantasy scenario, Ki-taek would still be contained in the house by a legal system that would seek his prosecution and imprisonment. The forces that created and upheld the Kim family's separation would not be undone, merely adapted to."[40]

Release

Director and stars at an April 2019 press event.

The film had its world premiere at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival on 21 May.[46] It was released in South Korea on 30 May 2019.[4][23]

Neon acquired the North American rights to the film at the 2018 American Film Market.[47][48] The film's rights were also pre-sold to German-speaking territories (Koch Films), French-speaking territories (The Jokers) and Japan (Bitters End).[49]

It was released in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Films on 27 June 2019[50] (becoming both the highest-ever-grossing Korean film in the region[51] and the distributor's highest-ever-grossing non-English-language film in Australia),[52] Russia on 4 July 2019, and in the United States and Canada on 11 October 2019.[53]

The film was originally scheduled to be screened as a closing film at FIRST International Film Festival Xining in China on 28 July 2019, but on 27 July, the film festival organizers announced that the screening was cancelled for "technical reasons."[54]

A black and white version of the film was produced prior to the world premiere in Cannes and debuted on 26 January 2020 at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and was rescreened from 29 to 31 January. It also received a limited release in some countries.[55][56]

It was licensed for the United Kingdom and Ireland by Curzon Artificial Eye at Cannes, and had preview screenings with an interview with Bong Joon-ho shared live by satellite on 3 February 2020, followed by the film's general release on 7 February.[57]

On 28 January 2020, Parasite was released on Blu-ray in Region A and DVD in Region 1 by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.[58][59] On 13 February 2020, it was announced that the film will be released on home media by the Criterion Collection.[60][61]

Neon expanded the number of North American theaters showing the film from 1,060 to 2,001 starting the weekend of 14 February 2020, following the film's recognition at the Academy Awards,[62] despite the film having already been released on home video in the region.[63] A special IMAX remaster was shown at limited North American theaters during the week of 21 February 2020.[64]

Allegations of plagiarism

On 16 February 2020, Indian film producer P. L. Thenappan threatened to take legal action against the makers of Parasite for "story theft" against his 1999 Tamil film Minsara Kanna. Thenappan and his lawyer had sent an intimation letter seeking explanation to Bong Joon-ho and the production company that made Parasite. Easwar Kuppusamy, a Madras High Court advocate who is appearing for Thenappan, said, "They can't deny that they have lifted the basic plot [of Minsara Kanna]. There are several films which have similar ideas, but an entire family going to a rich family's house and deceiving them is Minsara Kanna's plot. The only difference is that Parasite doesn't belong to the romantic genre."[65] Some Tamil netizens agreed that the plot of the film is similar to Minsara Kanna.[66]

Reception

Box office

As of 26 February 2020, Parasite has grossed $49.5 million in the United States and Canada, and $185.1 million in other territories (including $71 million from South Korea), for a worldwide total of $234.5 million.[7][6] It set a new record for Bong, becoming the first of his films to gross over $100 million worldwide.[67]

In the film's United States opening weekend, the film grossed $376,264 from three theatres. Its per-venue average of $125,421 was the best since La La Land's in 2016, and the best ever for an international film.[68] It expanded to 33 theatres in its second weekend, making $1.24 million,[69] and then made $1.8 million from 129 theatres in its third.[70] The film made $2.5 million in its fourth weekend and $2.6 million in its fifth.[71] The film's initial theatre count peaked in its sixth weekend at 620, when it made $1.9 million.[72] It continued to hold well in the following weekends, making $1.3 million and $1 million.[73][74]

In its tenth week of release the film crossed the $20 million mark (rare for an international film), making $632,500 from 306 theatres.[75] During the weekend of the Oscars, the film made $1.5 million from 1,060 theaters for a running total of $35.5 million.[76] After Neon's doubling of theater showings in the week following the Academy Awards, the film made $5.5 million in North American revenue, making it one of the biggest Best Picture bumps since Gladiator in 2001 and the biggest in ten years.[77]

The film grossed US$20.7 million on its opening weekend in South Korea.[6] On 5 February, Parasite became the first Korean film in nearly 15 years that surpassed one million moviegoers in Japan.[78] In the UK, it broke the record for the opening weekend of a non-English-language film, making £1.4 million ($1.8 million) including previews over its debut weekend, from 135 screens,[79] and in Australia it took in over $1.9 million.[80] In the weekend following its Oscars wins, the film made $12.8 million from 43 countries, bringing its international total to $161 million, and its global running gross over the $200 million mark.[81]

Following its Academy Awards success, Parasite received significant rescreening for both domestic and international audiences, generating significant further revenue. The Associated Press reported the biggest "Oscar effect" since 2001 after Gladiator won the Oscar for Best Picture. Parasite's box office revenue increased by more than 230% compared to the prior week, grossing $2.15 million in a single day. It also ranked No. 1 in Japan, the first Korean film to do so in 15 years. [82] The Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia announced that $749K worth of cinema tickets were sold in a single weekend, with the film re-entering the top 10 at the local box office more than six months after it debuted in Australian cinemas. Parasite also surged back to fourth place in South Korea's box office by attracting more than 80,000 viewers. [83] [84]

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 99% based on 422 reviews, with an average rating of 9.38/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "An urgent, brilliantly layered look at timely social themes, Parasite finds writer-director Bong Joon Ho in near-total command of his craft."[85] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 96 out of 100 based on reviews from 52 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[86]

Writing for The New York Times, A. O. Scott described the film as "wildly entertaining, the kind of smart, generous, aesthetically-energized movie that obliterates the tired distinctions between art films and popcorn movies."[87] Bilge Ebiri of New York magazine wrote that Parasite is "a work that is itself in a state of constant, agitated transformation—a nerve-racking masterpiece whose spell lingers long after its haunting final image."[88] In his five-star review of the film, Dave Calhoun of Time Out praised the social commentary and stated that "This is a dazzling work, surprising and fully gripping from beginning to end, full of big bangs and small wonders."[89] Variety's Jessica Kiang described the film as "a wild, wild ride," writing that "Bong is back and on brilliant form, but he is unmistakably, roaringly furious, and it registers because the target is so deserving, so enormous, so 2019: Parasite is a tick fat with the bitter blood of class rage."[90] The A. V. Club's A. A. Dowd gave the film an A−, praising the fun and surprising twists.[91] Joshua Rivera from GQ gave a glowing review and declared Parasite to be "Maybe 2019's best film", further adding, "It's so top-to-bottom satisfying that even being completely spoiled couldn't ruin it – but if you can come to it cold, you'll be floored."[92]

Michael Wood writing for the London Review of Books found the film to follow a theme of class consciousness to be consistent with the director's previous film Snowpiercer stating, "The theme of social ascent, or social difference as a landscape, could hardly be more obvious, but we are beginning to get the movie’s idea: not to avoid stereotypes but to keep crashing into them".[93] Paddy Kehoe writing for RTÉ found the film to be insufficient as a social commentary by not presenting alternative viewpoints giving the film 2.5/5 stars and stating: "No doubt Asian capitalist interests are well-served in the end, there won't be rioting in the streets on the back of this one. A film is hardly effective satire if it doesn't point up a route to radical change".[94]

Parasite ranked 1st in a survey conducted by IndieWire of over 300 critics, in the Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Foreign Film categories.[95] Parasite appeared on over 240 critics' year-end top-ten lists, including 77 who ranked the film first.[96] On Metacritic, Parasite was rated as the best film of 2019[96][97] and ranked 7th among the films with the highest scores of the decade.[98] As of 28 December 2019, it is the 40th highest-rated film of all time on the website.[99]

Accolades

Bong Joon-ho garnered widespread critical acclaim for his direction and was awarded the Academy Award for Best Director.

Parasite won the Palme d'Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. It became the first South Korean film to do so, as well as the first film to win with an unanimous vote since Blue Is the Warmest Colour at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.[100][101] At the 77th Golden Globe Awards, the film was nominated for three awards, including Best Director and Best Screenplay, and won Best Foreign Language Film, becoming the first ever South Korean film to achieve that feat.[102][103]

It became the second international film to ever be nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture since Life Is Beautiful (1997), and ultimately won the category, making it the first international film to win the prize.[104][105] Parasite was also nominated for four awards at the 73rd British Academy Film AwardsBest Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film Not in the English Language. It became the first South Korean film to receive nominations at the British Academy Film Awards (except for Best Film Not in the English Language), and went on to win Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Not in the English Language.[106][107]

Parasite was submitted as the South Korean entry for Best International Feature Film for the 92nd Academy Awards, making the December shortlist.[108][109][110] It went on to win four awards—Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film. Parasite became the first non-English language film in Academy Awards history to win Best Picture while Bong Joon-ho won all four categories for which he was nominated, tying the record for most wins in a single night with Walt Disney, who set the record at the 26th Academy Awards in 1954.[111][112][note 2] Bong also became the first person to win four awards for a single film in Academy Awards history.[111] Parasite also became the first South Korean film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards and the second East Asian film to receive a nomination for Best Picture since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000).[114] It also received nominations for Best Film Editing and Best Production Design.[115][116][117]

Legacy

Spin-off television series

An HBO limited series based on the film, with Bong and Adam McKay as executive producers, is in early development.[118] Bong has stated that the series, also titled Parasite, will explore stories "that happen in between the sequences in the film".[119][120] In February, Mark Ruffalo and Tilda Swinton were rumoured to star in the series.[121][122]

Plans for tourist set

A South Korean local government (Goyang City) plans to restore the Goyang Aqua Special Shooting Studio set, where the film Parasite was produced, and use it as a Parasite movie experience tourism facility. In addition, Goyang City has announced that it will invest 150 million dollars in the development of the Goyang Film Culture Complex by 2026 to accommodate film experience tourism facilities, additional indoor studios, outdoor set production facilities, inter-Korean video content centres, and image research and development companies.[123][124][125] However, criticisms have been raised about the commercialization of areas known for poverty in South Korea as tourist destinations without concrete steps being taken to address the issues at hand.[126][127][128]

Tour route in Seoul

Seoul Tourism Organization has been criticized by South Korea's opposition party and residents of Seoul for introducing a tour route featuring filming locations and stories from the movie. The Justice Party claims that the movie became famous due to the universal recognition of global inequality. [129] However, it sees the development of a tourist attraction based on the film in Seoul as amounting to the further exploitation of poverty. [130] Residents living in Parasite's filming locations have reportedly complained of a sense of embarrassment and discomfort due to an increase in tourists visiting their neighborhoods and taking photos of their surroundings, making them feel like "monkeys in a zoo".[131] In response, the local government of Seoul has announced that government funding will prioritize the estimated 1500 low income families living in the semi-basement type accommodations featured in the film. [132]

Reactions

The AP commented that the Academy had previously failed to adequately recognize women filmmakers in the Academy Award nominations, but this time it acknowledged diversity. The AP noted that the film's victory, because of its being an Oscar winning foreign film in a regular Academy category, opens the door for Hollywood to undergo a radical change and a different kind of advancement. The WSJ also stated that the film seemed to promise a 'more inclusive Oscars' demanded by those who have previously criticized AMPAS. [133]

See also