Bong Joon Ho’s international mega-hit was the first South Korean film to win the Palme d’Or.
For the whip-smart Kim family – all unemployed and living in a squalid semi-basement apartment in Seoul – days are spent siphoning off their neighbour’s wi-fi and folding pizza boxes for cash. However, when a job becomes available tutoring the daughter of the privileged Park family in their stunning home, a cunning plan is hatched to snare the job.
Thrilling, engrossing and ever-unexpected, Bong Joon Ho’s massive international hit is an irresistible heist film, where the quarry is gainful employment. Drawing inspiration from Joseph Losey’s The Servant, this film similarly toys with the invisible and fragile security that class and privilege provide. And similarly, the true star of these two domestic thrillers are the houses with remarkable set design that provides both beautiful surfaces and hidden depths.
In director Bong’s words, Parasite offers us “a comedy without clowns, a tragedy without villains” but it also offers a biting comment or contemporary South Korea and the wider developed world with its disparity between class, privilege and opportunity.