Even with the hype surrounding the DC Comics movie Joker at the 2020 Oscars Awards, Parasite swept not just one but four categories: Best Picture, Directing, International Feature Film and Writing (Original Screenplay). In addition to these awards, Parasite became the first non-English language film to win the prestigious Best Picture in Oscar history.
If you haven’t seen it, is it worth your time? Did it deserve all those awards? As a South Korean myself, my ‘humble’ and ‘unbiased’ opinion is that the movie is much more than a movie about a family. It is, but it also conveys an important societal message. Without spoiling much, director Bong Joon Ho states it best when he says, “Parasite is a movie about stairs… It reflects so much about our current society and that people who try to climb up the wrong way end up falling right back down.” This metaphor is beautifully displayed on screen and deeply resonated with me.
Now, before you start complaining about having to read the subtitles, I’m sorry. I can’t relate. However, with a bit of effort, “once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles,” the director notes, “you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”
If you’re still skeptical about whether dealing with subtitles is worth it, you should check out Snowpiercer, another movie by the same director. It’s entirely in English and– added bonus– Captain America is in it. Although Snowpiercer is a science-fiction film, the overall theme of surviving in different ranks of society is well-illustrated much like in Parasite.
In the end, it’s really up to you, but I highly recommend it, especially with all the downtime you’ll (hopefully) have over Spring Break. I urge you to watch at least one of these two films. I’m willing to bet that once you watch one, you will end up watching the other. Enjoy!
“Parasite’s Bong Joon Ho: Get Over Subtitles, Watch Foreign Language Films,” Dazed, https://www.dazeddigital.com/film-tv/article/47346/1/parasite-director-bong-joon-ho-golden-globes-subtitles-foreign-language-films
Patti Sunio, “Parasite: How Director Bong Joon-ho Used Staircases to Magnify the Social Divide between the Parks’ Luxury Home and the Kims’ Semi-basement.” Style, https://www.scmp.com/magazines/style/tech-design/article/3051568/parasite-how-director-bong-joon-ho-used-staircases
Copyright Sean Um 2020