“Parasite” was hands down the best movie I saw this year that none of my friends, family or colleagues saw. Not a single person I asked had seen it when I asked, even months after the original theatrical release. I still have yet to find anyone who has seen the Korean film even after it landed on streaming sites, which makes Sunday’s Oscar odds very doubtful.
The movie follows the members of the Kim family, a poor Korean household, as they scheme to become employees of a much wealthier family, the Parks, by posing as unrelated, highly qualified workers. The film portrays the Kims as cunning and crafty, being able to survive, while taking advantage of the Parks at the same time.
The Parks, on the other hand, are almost sympatric characters in the entire scheme. As an audience, you almost are tricked into feeling bad for the wealthy family, which is the biggest reason I enjoyed the film. In present society, where the wealth gap in every country is growing rapidly, it is fun to have a movie that show a realistic portrayal of what working families have to do to stay above water.
The movie gives me a similar feeling to films like “Get Out” and “Sorry to Bother You,” a dark comedy that, at times, has you at the edge of your seat with anticipation. “Parasite” is a fun movie at its core with a dark thriller twist when it matters most. Like the aforementioned movies whose twists have become cult classics in pop culture today, Parasite has a twist in the same vein.
Breaking tradition, the Oscars nominated “Parasite” for best international feature film, best director and best picture, makes it the first South Korean film nominated for those categories. However, none of the cast was nominated for any awards.
Rarely would I ever say an actor or actress was robbed of an award. At the end of the day, these awards aren’t going to save lives or cure diseases but in the case of Song Kang-ho, I do feel like he was robbed the opportunity to get some well-deserved exposure.
Kang-ho’s portal of Kim Ki-taek (the father of the Kim family) was one of the best performances I saw this year. He has the ability to add comedy when scenes are very high stake and show humanity at the end of the film. Of all the actors on the list, this was one of the biggest snub.
It is strange that more people haven’t seen this movie. With the majority of pop culture swinging toward movies that either deal with superheroes or movies that have some sort of cultural critic, “Parasite: feels that, if nothing else, it should draw enough crowds to be seen in bigger theaters besides a handful of art and draft houses. Due to the lack of domestic attention outside of the niche film houses, the general public tuning into the award show Sunday night will have little to no idea about what this movie brings to the table, dooming its chance of winning the night’s biggest prize and subjecting it to lists of “Best Movies that missed winning Best Picture.”