“Parasite” visualizes class discrepancy at its finest and lowest


“Parasite” is by CJ Entertainment. This still was released for press and is protected under the fact this is a review and can be used for educational purposes.

Anabel Magers

As Bong Joon Ho’s seventh feature film, Parasite has gained the most recognition of all of his films. Like his last six features, this production highlights Bong’s commentary on systemic poverty, and the never-ending cycle in which a family can become trapped.

For instance, Taek Kim Ki, a father of a poor family, played by Song Kang Ho, falsifies a luxurious business card to impress a potential employer for his wife. Whether it was Bong’s intention or not. This act reflects the obsession of image and behavior of Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, played by Christian Bale.

Furthermore, the flick emphasizes the stratified class system with both metaphorical and actual elevation. 

The wealthiest family in the film, the Parks, live in a luxurious mansion at what seems to be the highest point of the city, while the most poor and unfortunate reside in a hidden basement blocked from sunlight. Additionally, the wealthy literally built their castle on the home of the poor.

“Parasite” is by CJ Entertainment. This still was released for press and is protected under review and educational purposes. 

The middle working class however, gets a taste of both. The semi-basement becomes an ionic point of this film, making it almost synonymous with the Kim family. They are situated in a basement home in which the top part of their wall is a window, which is also the main light source to their home. 

But not even this bit of luxury comes without significant sacrifice and downsides — they are completely at the mercy of the weather. Their house is positioned to be viewed as one of the lowest points of the city that we see. A twist in the film later proves to show that even though they get some taste of comfort, that does not separate them from the beggars that they so hate.

After careful analysis, I can conclude that the title of ‘parasite’ travels from person to person, even family to family across the film. 

Some argue that the poorest family, the Moons, were the leeches, justifying it by pointing out the fact that they have food and a house as a result of the Parks, but others maintain the opposite. That the Parks were leeching off of the hard work of the lower class.

The Moon family performs unnoticed tasks to ease the lives of the Parks, while they take for granted the accessibility of their material possessions and comfort.

Overall, “Parasite” showcases how different classes view each other and makes light of the situation through dark humor which will leave audiences thinking about it for a long time to come. With its numerous nominations at award shows this season, including a nominee from the academy for best picture, this movie is a must watch. Then you can make the call for who the actual ‘parasite’ is.