Parasite: How Bong Joon-Ho Attracts Us

The representation of our civilization, as
already given by Bong Joon-ho in Snowpiercer, is that of a pyramidal scheme, the goal of
each of which would be to cross the limits and thus achieve a higher standard of living. The symbolic science-fiction does not take
place anymore and it is well within a family of let-offs in the Seoul of today that it
poses its camera. In this vision dictated by social determinism,
the family of Ki-taek has no other hope to survive, than to rob their richer neighbors. We find them enjoying their free Wi-Fi, without
the least qualms. And yet, it is difficult to condemn these
individuals. The mere fact of seeing them as a family makes
it inevitably sympathetic. In fact, we do not worry about seeing the
scam mounted, since it is built in a fairly traditional way. We must wait, while enjoying this deliciously
Machiavellian mechanics, at least half an hour before the company begins to be suspicious. Suffice to say that the public has plenty
of time to focus on these characters before worrying about their moral limits. But things continue to get worse little by
little, and the suspense of the film only increases, until reaching a level that can
easily be described as horrifying. All the genius of Bong Joon-ho lies in this
mix of genres that he organizes subtly, where many directors would have created points of
brutal breaks. To embark on Parasite is to accept getting
lost in one’s cinephilic and moral bearings. It is accepting to have fun of a social comedy,
without being afraid to attend at the same time a cruel breathtaking thriller, while
not having seen it coming. It is undoubtedly when the social violence,
which appears at first as the true antagonist of this banal scam story, becomes physical
violence that we see in the film as the first changing plot point. And yet violence seems like a piece of entertainment,
almost enjoyable. We are already acquired to the cause of the
scammers. The later we notice it, the harder it will
hit us. Everything is mischievously built to make
us doubt our own feelings about these characters: should we focus on them because they are just
trying to get out of a social shackles? Or do we have to hate them because they leave
behind victims? Between venomous social drama, domestic suspense
and thriller, the film drives the viewer into a crazy saraband and, as a political allegory,
describes a world, ours, where the peaceful coexistence between social classes, undermined
by ultra-liberal dehumanization is a sweet utopia, as powerful on the bottom.

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