“Parasite,” directed by Bong Joon-Ho, won the 2020 Oscar for Best Picture, along with Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Production Design, and Best Film Editing. Before the awards ceremony, the movie had generated a relatively large amount of buzz. However, the only remarks I heard about the movie were that it was good, and it was in Korean. The revolutionary aspect of Parasite is that it maintains its high level of entertainment despite its foreign language. I thought it was primarily a gimmick, considering it was seemingly the only memorable trait from the movie.
I was wrong. Parasite is a surprisingly fleshed-out and intimate story of classicism and family. The mannerisms of the characters and the context of the situations elevate the film above its language. The plot is a simple yet effective one: A poor family profits off a rich family from their lies. Any further information is spoiler territory, which explains why most reviews of “Parasite” are vague and one-sided. “I was surprised with how immersive the movie was, considering I don’t really like subtitles,” said junior Quinn Patton.
The movie is divided into three acts. The exciting and shocking elements of the movie don’t unravel until the third act. In fact, the overall tone of the three acts are completely different. The initiation of the movie has a much bubblier tone then the dramatic and sharp shift the third act takes. However, one of the great parts of this movie is how despite the beginning and ending being completely different, Bong Joon-Ho found a way to bring the characters in a full circle. “I was confused. I mean sure it’s a entertaining first half of the movie, but it’s not Oscar worthy. Thank God I watched the second half ’cause that’s what really defined it,” said senior Harrison Holmes.
This movie is also relevant, delivering a strong stance against classist economies. Joon-Ho’s approach resides in a “team is only as good as their weakest player” point of view. In turn, the parasites, or the weakest players, bring down the host. Unlike most movies with powerful messages, the story itself outshines the message. The combination of the two made it that much better, and a well-deserved Oscar winner.