Why You Kind of Need to See Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite

Parasite

The reason I give you for needing to see Bong Joon-Ho’s movie Parasite might be different than you’re expecting, largely because calling as ground-breaking as Sandy Schaefer from ScreenRant seems to indicate is a little too difficult. It’s easy to see just how one might take one opinion or another when looking at the different elements that have been thrust into this movie, namely the idea that the system is broken and is responsible for why the poor family, or that the rich family, the Parks, are able to do just about anything they want because of privilege. The real idea of the movie is that rich, poor, or otherwise, everyone has faults that are exposed in a big way when things begin to fall apart and the character traits of each individual are put on display. Those that are classified as the have-nots can be every bit as intelligent and crafty as the haves, while the haves can be every bit as devious and fallible as the have-nots. And those in-between are usually stuck in the middle of something, no matter what it is, and are prone to do whatever comes natural, for good or ill. In other words it’s a movie about humanity that isn’t nearly as complex as people are trying to make it out to be, but it’s something you might want to watch for a bit of dark satire at the very least.

It’s very easy to blame a system when the decisions of a few are seen to have almost no impact on whether their lives can improve or not, but it’s even more difficult when the system is designed to allow people to make their own fate and yet the eyes of those that have the opportunity are closed by ignorance or some ill-advised belief that capitalism is the root of all evil. A capitalist society isn’t perfect by any means, but showing the evils it can produce without really giving much of a balance as to what it can provide to those that are intelligent enough, ambitious enough, and possess the kind of will to succeed tends to make it obvious to many people that capitalism is simply to blame for the ills of the many that can’t seem to rise from their current station. The movie is a definite commentary on the vast difference between the rich and the poor with the middle class stuck in, well, the middle, but it’s also a slightly unbalanced look at a system that might be harder to accept for some people, but is more liberating in the long run. Claudia Valladares of World Economic Forum might be able to shed some light on the subject for some people.

As to the movie it’s a tale about a continuing scam that is meant to help the family that’s in need, but eventually becomes little more than a chance for the family to better themselves by taking advantage of the Parks by posing as those that know something they don’t. It’s easy to state that the Parks’ reaction to the family members, who are all posing as experts in their given positions as well as strangers to each other, is less than appealing since they seem to feel that the individuals are beneath them and are there for the sole purpose of serving them. But if you’re going into this movie expecting to know who’s in the right and who’s in the wrong you’re going to be doing a mental tap dance throughout the entire movie since the morality meter is bound to jump back and forth without cease. Some will be sympathetic to the poor family, some will be sympathetic to the rich family, and some might even feel sympathy for the people stuck in between, but at the very least you’ll be likely to wonder just where or why you should even care for some of these characters.

The movie is one that will open your eyes to things that you might not have thought about in a while, but at the same time it will likely remind you that the system we live in is flawed, but it’s not to be blamed for individual choice since it wouldn’t matter what system we live under, personal choice is still a very powerful ability that each person possesses, and how we take advantage of it tends to indicate just what kind of person we are or are going to be. In attributing too much responsibility to the system for the many shortcomings of one or many people it becomes too easy to shuck responsibility for one’s actions and simply coast by on the feeling that things are not your fault. The movie is worth watching by all means, but go into it without any expectations and you might come out thinking that it was a pleasant fiction if nothing else. That seems like the best way to do it.  Neda Ulaby of NPR can offer another viewpoint if you’re still needing clarification.


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