CAIRO – 30 January 2020: “I might have expected more”, this could be an easy and direct explanation of why I did not find what I was looking for during watching Bong Joon-ho’s latest film “Parasite”.
I was quite disappointed I must say, especially that the movie seized a number of prestigious awards, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film and SAG Award.
Answering why I did not enjoy Parasite leads to another question, what exactly I was searching for in the movie.
The plot For some reason I felt that the story was incomplete. I found it difficult at certain stages to accept the reason the writer wants to tell me, so I could move on with ease through the rest of the events.
The movie begins with Kim Ki-woo, who was played by South Korean actor “Choi Woo Shik”, telling his family that their neighbor has changed the Wi-Fi password and that they no longer have access to the internet; he walks the whole apartment, which is actually very small reflecting the poverty of the family. From this short tour, you shape an early idea about the family that you will be watching for the rest of the movie, poor, and unemployed.
The family consists of a father (Kim Ki-taek) played by Kang-ho Song; a mother, Hye-jin Jang, as Chung-sook; a son, Ki-woo; and finally a daughter, So-dam Park, as Ki-jung.
The whole family was suffering, and tirelessly searching for work. The son went through several attempts to enter university, but he continues to fail. The sister, although a highly skilled- painter and a resourceful character, did not make any progress in her life.
An easy job opportunity comes to Ki-woo when his friend gives him a sudden visit with a small gift sent from his grandfather, a very strange and large stone, claiming that it brings fortune to its owners.
The friend, who appears in one scene, works as an English teacher for a teenager girl of a very rich family; however, he says that he has to travel abroad and asks Ki-woo to take his place as an English teacher because he does not trust any of his colleagues in the university. He argues that a university degree is not important as long as he is good in English, and can easily teach the teenager girl.
And from this moment on, a chain of word-of-mouth recommendations somehow get the entire family employed at the Park family’s house. The son as an English teacher, the sister as an art therapist, the Father as a driver and the mother as the housekeeper after setting a plan to get rid of the existing driver and housekeeper.
Here are some questions that popped into my mind as I was watching; what is the secret behind this mysterious stone, and was it necessary for the movie events?
Is there an entire family that can be as naïve same as Park's family, and is there an entire family that can be so intelligent, resourceful and in the same time poor and unemployed as Kim's family?
These are mainly my comments and concerns; others may see that "Parasite" fulfils what they want from a movie, but I always look at foreign movies as a window to other cultures and societies, but if this window did not answer my questions or give me a solid story, then simply I will not be able to believe it.
The ending “You know what kind of plan never fails? No plan. No plan at all. You know why? Because life cannot be planned. Look around you. Did you think these people made a plan to sleep in the sports hall with you? But here we are now, sleeping together on the floor. So, there's no need for a plan. You can't go wrong with no plans. We don't need to make a plan for anything. It doesn't matter what will happen next. Even if the country gets destroyed or sold out, nobody cares. Got it?” Kim tells his son, as they were sleeping in the sports hall after the apartment drowns in heavy rains and sewage.
The Father had no plan; he was humiliated, and felt that everything has been taken away from him in a moment. So, when we reach the final scene at Park’s family house, where the little boy's birthday is held, Kim finally expressed his anger that he had to wear a native American costume.
The movie was a shock, and had good moments when I thought, “These are real and honest emotions.” But for the rest of the movie and for some reason, “Parasite” did not trigger my emotions; instead, my mind kept criticizing and asking questions.