Parasite (2019) Movie Review with Ending Explained


The Review

“Parasite,” directed by Bong Joon-ho, is a film that defies the constraints of genre to deliver a story that is at once a comedy, a tragedy, and a thrilling commentary on social stratification. The movie begins as a darkly comedic tale of the Kim family, who ingeniously embed themselves into the lives of the wealthy Park family. However, as the narrative unfolds, it morphs into a harrowing examination of the disparities between the haves and the have-nots.

The film’s brilliance lies in its ability to maintain a razor-sharp balance between the humorous and the horrific, ensuring that the audience is constantly on edge, never quite sure whether to laugh or gasp. The storytelling is meticulous, with each scene crafted to contribute to the overarching narrative and themes. Bong Joon-ho’s direction is delicate yet deliberate, allowing the story to unfold with a natural ease that belies the complexity of the plot and the depth of the social commentary.

The cast delivers performances that are nothing short of extraordinary. Song Kang-ho, as the patriarch of the Kim family, brings a nuanced blend of sly wit and desperation, while Cho Yeo-jeong’s portrayal of the Park family matriarch is both endearing and naive, making her the perfect foil to the Kims’ machinations. The chemistry between the actors is palpable, creating a dynamic that is essential to the film’s impact.

Visually, “Parasite” is stunning. The cinematography is both beautiful and functional, with each shot contributing to the story or the mood of the film. The production design is meticulous, with the contrasting environments of the Kim and Park families serving as a visual metaphor for the social divide that is central to the film’s theme.

The screenplay, co-written by Bong and Han Jin-won, is a masterpiece of storytelling. It is a script that rewards attentive viewers, with layers of meaning that reveal themselves upon reflection. The dialogue is sharp and purposeful, with each line serving to build character or advance the plot.

“Parasite” is a film that resonates on a universal level, despite its specific cultural context. It speaks to the universal human experience of aspiration and desperation, of the desire to rise above one’s circumstances and the fear of falling back into poverty. It is a film that challenges viewers to consider their own position within the social hierarchy and the moral compromises that are made in the pursuit of security and comfort.

Ending Explained (Spoiler Alert!)

It is easy to understand the message of the movie if you understand the Korean culture a little bit.  There are rich and there are poor.  Poor is always going to be poor and rich and always going to be rich.  It is very difficult, almost impossible, for the poor to be rich, and pretty much all the poor accepted this.  But it doesn’t mean they can’t dream about being rich.  This is what the main message from the director.  He is pretty much mocking the social class in Korean culture.

Kim family is poor.  But they are very street savvy.  The Park family is rich but they are a bit naïve.  Kim family found a way to con the Park family to live the life of rich.  Because they know that this is only way, they know how to live the life of the rich.  But obviously, things don’t go as planned.  Eventually things fall apart.

This movie is a bit different in a sense that there isn’t really a good guy or a bad guy.   We sympathized with poor Kim family, but they did take advantage of the rich Park family and they even commit a murder.  At the same time, the movie didn’t really portray Park family as a villain either, nor a victim.  The director chose to make Mr. Park a reasonable enough character, despite his occasional hints that reveal his true nature. He seems to treat Mr. Kim fairly enough at first, but he also warns the latter not to “cross the line” every time Mr. Kim attempts to pry into his private life.

Some complained that they don’t understand Mr. Kim’s motive for killing Mr. Park.  But to fully appreciate this, you need to understand the meaning of a recurring expression in the dialogue which is, “crossing the line”.

“Crossing the line” can have multiple meanings.  It is mean as one should respect other people’s privacy.   Park family treated Kim family fairly, but they knew that they were poor and they were still looking down upon them.  So, when Mr. Kim continues to pry in their personal life, Mr. Park was a bit concerned.  He didn’t want him to “cross the line”.  He needs to mind his own business.

But the other meaning is “crossing the line” of social class.  Mr. Park knows that Mr. Kim is poor and he is always going to be poor.  So, Mr. Kim needs to understand his position is social class and not trying to be rich.

So why did Mr. Kim killed Mr. Park?  Mr. Kim and the family did enjoy the life of the rich.  But he did eventually understand that they are not rich and they are just merely a parasite in the host’s body.  With such disillusionment and anger, Ki-Taek chose to kill Mr. Park, as a parasite could to its host, and like a parasite, he keeps hiding deep inside the dead host’s body until he could claim the whole carcass and use it as nourishment for his offspring.

The ending is also very good.  As Mr. Kim is trapped inside the secret basement for God knows how long, the family is planning to get him out and bring back to the family.  But the only plan they can think of it is becoming a rich and buy the house so that he can set his father free.  But at the end, we all know that, that is not going to happen since it is impossible for the poor to be rich, and his son also knows this.  So, it is pretty much their understanding that they will never see their father and he will eventually die in a secret basement alone.

In the Nutshell

“Parasite” is a film that deserves the accolades it has received. It is a work that is both entertaining and enlightening, a rare feat in cinema. It is a film that stays with you long after the credits roll, prompting reflection and conversation. “Parasite” is not just one of the best films of 2019; it is a cinematic experience that will be remembered and discussed for years to come. For those who have not yet seen it, “Parasite” is a film that is not to be missed. [5 out of 5 stars]

If you already saw this movie, help us rate the movie by click on the Star Rating. 


Genre: Suspense Drama

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