By: Hayden Fitzsimons
Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Parasite’ was a revolutionary movie for the world of film, as it may have changed the award system forever.
The release of ‘Parasite’ in 2019 was met with immediate fanfare, as many critics claimed it was the best of the year. Once ‘Parasite’ hit Western consumers, the general consensus of the public aligned with that of the critics, for once.
In Korea, prior to ‘Parasite’ being internationally released, the film was a blockbuster which grossed around 70 million dollars, making it one of the most successful films in Korean history. Internationally (including Korea), ‘Parasite’ grossed 211 million dollars, but in America & Canada it grossed only around 50 million.
‘Parasite’ was an instant hit, however many still didn’t see it despite rave reviews. So, for those who didn’t see it, was ‘Parasite’ really the Best Picture?
The likelihood of ‘Parasite’ winning, or even getting nominated, for Best Picture was low from the start. The Oscars’ track record of best picture nominations hasn’t been the best, as ‘Parasite’ was the first foreign language film to ever win Best Picture. So, despite the sheer quality of ‘Parasite’ being so high, the belief in the film getting any recognition was low. Fortunately, for the movie-going audience, the Oscars didn’t mess up for once.
‘Parasite’ was nominated, which was enough for some who had become cynics towards the seemingly inept Oscars Academy. Yet, to many’s surprise, ‘Parasite’ actually won. If ‘Parasite’ seemingly deserved the Best Picture win so much, what was it about?
‘Parasite’ follows the Kim family, who are a lower class family struggling to survive. The son of the family, Ki-woo, manages to get a job as the tutor to the daughter of the Park family, an extremely rich family, and he eventually manages to get all of the other workers fired and replaced by his family. This leads to a meteoric rise in wealth for the Kim family. However, the fired employees are not all out of the Kims’ lives, leading to a karma-filled struggle to keep their lies and their new life from unraveling.
The story on it’s own is compelling enough, but Bong Joon-ho brings out the best of his performers and their acting transforms the film to another level. Not to mention the constant messages layered into the dialog, cinematography, and nearly every detail of the film. Without a doubt, ‘Parasite’ is a once-in-a-lifetime film which undoubtedly deserved the award for Best Picture.