The Best Picture Winners: Parasite (2019)

| February 10, 2020

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have been handing out awards for more than 90 years, and the results have been spotty at best.  That applied most aptly to their selections for Best Picture.  In this series I am looking down the barrel at each of their selections for better and, very often, for worse.

5 Valuable Life Lessons From Oscar-Winning Film Parasite | by Solvita Sofi  | Medium

l will be honest, I walked into Bong Joon Ho’s comic culture-clash nightmare knowing nothing about it except the title. That’s probably a good thing because based on that title I expected yet another pandemic drama like Outbreak or Contagion, the story of how Patient Zero manages to take a deadly virus and unknowingly spread it from one continent to another creating mass chaos.

That’s . . . not quite what we have here. Or maybe in some strange way, it is.

Parasite is a movie that I find extremely difficult to discuss without spoilers. Suffice to say that the title refers to a group of bottom-feeding moochers who manage to invade the lives of a wealthy family through a clever plot that . . . let’s face it, no human beings on the face of the planet could ever pull off unless the victims are blind, deaf and lack any sort of peripheral vision.

I’m straining to stay mum about the plot only because I want everyone to experience this film the way that I did – stone cold and without spoilers. Really I’ve said too much already. What comes of the film is a clever plot that is just as tightly wound as Knives Out but far trickier and far more devastating in its effects. Bong Joon Ho oscillates between comedy, drama and one the craziest thrillers that you’ve ever seen. Really, I couldn’t explain it if I tried!

Underneath the clockwork plot lies a very potent statement about class warfare, and the questions of who is the real parasite. Its the kind of film that long essays will be written about, that film lovers will study and discuss among themselves. Is it fantasy? What parts are reality? What does that ending tell us?  Oddly, you find it’s outcome some open and so questioning that you could find several ways to interpret it.  Decide for yourself.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.