Starring: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam
Summary: Through an amazing and clever plan, the poor family of Kim manages to convince the wealthy and rich family of Parks to get the jobs of their servants. But there lies a secret in the house that was hidden from the Park’s for a long time and breaks the newly gathered group.
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Genre(s): Comedy, Drama, Thriller
Runtime: 132 minutes
What’s the story?
A Korean movie which was first titled as Gisaengchung but later got changed to Parasite is a South Korean comedy-drama-thriller based movie. This movie is directed by Bong Joon-ho, who also took part in writing the screenplay script with Han Jin-won. The movie Parasite is of the people of a very poor family who plan to do the job in a rich family by getting in their house and pretending as they all are unrelated to each other, and are highly educated persons.
Parasite (Gisaengchung) was premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on 21st May of 2019, where the movie became the first South Korean movie to achieve the Palme d’Or award. Gisaengchung was later released by CJ Entertainment on 30th May of 2019 in South Korea.
The idea for the movie Gisaengchung came up in 2013. While working on the movie Snowpiercer, Joon-ho was motivated by a friend who worked in the theatre to write a script for a play. Bong had been a teacher for a boy of a rich family in Seoul in his teenage and considered revolving his experience into a theatre play production. The movie’s name, Parasite, was selected by Joon-ho as the word Parasite has a double meaning, for which Bong had to encourage the movie’s marketing group to consider. Joon-ho said that the story is about a very poor family invading and sliding into the wealthy house, it seems very clear that Parasite is the name given to the poor families, and I thought which is why the marketing group of the movie was a little uncertain. On the other hand, there is also an alternate meaning for labor in the rich family that is Parasite.
The cast of Parasite includes Kim Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho) who played the role of the father of the Kim family, Park Dong-ik (Lee Sun-kyun) who played the role of the father of the Park family, Choi Yeon-gyo (Cho Yeo-jeong) who played the role of mother of the Park family, Kim Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) who is the son of the Kim family, Kim Ki-jung (Park So-dam) who is the daughter of the Kim family, Gook Moon-gwang (Lee Jung-eun) who played the character of the housekeeper, Chung-sook (Jang Hye-jin) who played the role of mother of the Kim family, Oh Geun-sae (Park Myung-hoon) who played the role of Moon-gwang’s husband, Park Da-hye (Jung Ji-so) who played the role of the daughter of the Park family, Park Da-song (Jung Hyeon-jun) who played the role of the son of the Park family, Yoon (Park Geun-rok) who played the role of Park Dong-ik’s driver.
Is it any good?
The family of Kim lives in a banjiha apartment and have low-wage temporary jobs as pizza box makers, and they all struggle to make it to the month’s end. Min-hyuk a friend of Ki-woo’s and a University student gives the family a Gongshi meant to promise prosperity. As Min-hyuk was leaving for further studies abroad, he recommends Ki-woo to replace him in his job as an English teacher for Da-hye who is the daughter of the affluent Park family. Ki-woo pretends as a university student and was later hired by the Parks, the name given to him was Kevin.
The Kim family tells each other to pretend as they are unrelated and are highly skilled workers to take the jobs of servants of the family of Parks. Ki-woo teaches English to Da-hye. Ki-jung plays her role as Jessica, who is a teacher of art to Da-song who is Parks’ son. Finally, Chung-sook is hired as the housekeeper, Moon-gwang tricks Mrs. Park that she has a serious disease of tuberculosis.
One day when the Parks go on a camping trip, the family of Kim takes advantage of all the luxuries of the Park house. Moon-gwang knocks at the door, telling the housekeeper that she has forgotten something in the basement of the house. Then, through a hidden door that led to the underground bunker which was constructed by the house’s previous owners, it is shown that Geun-sae who is Moon-gwang’s husband, has been living underground and hiding from the people from whom he took loan for four years. Kim’s secret was revealed by an accident when Moon-gwang tells Chung-sook to help Geun-sae stay underground. She warns him to report Kims to the Parks.
Parks returns early to home due to a heavy, and the Kims rush to tidy up the house before the family arrives, while a fight breaks out between the Kims, Geun-sae, and Moon-gwang. Kims locks Geun-sae and a severely injured Moon-gwang inside the bunker. Mrs. Park tells the housekeeper that Da-song had a traumatic drug experience on his last birthday when he saw a ghost of Geun-sae coming out from the bunker. The family of Kims manages to run out of the house, but not before hearing Mr. Park’s statements about how Ki-taek feels bad even though he admires Ki-Taek’s skill of driving. Kims find their apartment flooded with wastewater and are forced to live in a gym with other lost people.
On the very next day, a birthday party is organized by Mrs. Park with the help of Kims for Da-song. Ki-woo goes underground carrying the Gongshi rock to counter Geun-sae. Upon reaching there he finds that Moon-gwang is dead and then gets attacked by Geun-sae, who throws a rock on him and manages to escape the bunker. Seeking revenge for Moon-gwang, her husband injures the daughter of the Kims with a knife in front of the party guests. Da-song gets seizure again because of Geun-sae, and a brawl breaks out when Ki-jung’s mother injures Geun-sae with a skewer. In the anarchy, Ki-taek takes the knife and murders Mr. Park before escaping the scene.
A month later, Ki-woo comes out of a coma after his brain surgery. Chung-sook and Ki-woo are arrested on fraud and are charged on probation. Because of Ki-jung’s injury, she has died and Ki-taek is declared wanted for the murder of Mr. Park, has disappeared. Geun-sae’s reason for the assault is not revealed yet. Ki-woo kept an eye on the Parks’ house that was eventually sold to a German family who was not knowing of the house’s history and looks a message in codeword from a flickering bulb which is flickered by Ki-taek who stays hidden in the bunker. Moon-gwang was buried in the backyard of the house. Still living with his mother, Ki-woo hopes to buy the house and free his father.