Historical Moment: Korean Movie ‘Parasite’ Is The First Asian Movie To Win 4 Oscars

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Why Must You Watch Parasite, One of South Korean Best Movies?

Parasite is a South Korean movie about a poor family who somehow manipulates a rich family and gets a bit of comfort their life. The movie was directed by Bong Joon-Ho, who has a track record of making the best sci-fi movies in South Korea, like Snowpiercer, The Host, and many others. Parasite made history by winning four Oscar nominations in 2019! Let’s read more about it on this Channel-Korea, below!

About the K-Movie Parasite

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This movie first come out at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival on May 21, 2019. Parasite is a comedy-thriller that amused viewers by the story line changing plot. This movie tells about the Kim family’s attempt to get a better life by perfectly fooling the rich Park family, in order to work in their house. But the plot suddenly changes to a dark horror when the ex-housemaid who was fired indirectly by the Kim family comes back to the house and revealed a secret inside.

The story started when the Kim family, a poor family who were living in semi basement house, get offered a nice job that gives them needed income for living since nobody in the household was working. It is their son, Ki-woo, who got a lucky job from his friend from school. His friend will go study abroad, and needs help from somebody he trusts to replace him as the English tutor for Da-Hye, the daughter of rich family, whom he fell in love with. He asks Ki-woo to take the job even though he does not have any college degree, rather than somebody else who might betray him by dating Da-Hye. This opportunity leads the path of the Kim family, who had been earning money from folding pizza boxes, into a decent income by manipulating all members of the Park family. From comedy to horror, then to a thriller vibe, this is a genius movie.

Parasite offered you not only humor that you could relate to in daily life, but also thrills that make your heart beat faster and leaving you wanting to know what happens next. Parasite will surprise you at the end of the story with a plot twist, and you will learn about the connection between life and how it responds towards incidents could impact reality.

In this movie, some events satirize how some South Koreans are more reliant on referrals from someone they know, ignoring what they are actually capable of, the difficulty university students face when getting a job, and the significant difference in quality of life is between the different classes in modern society. If watched carefully, Parasite compiled many things that happen closely and culturally in South Korea, and also show the despair and class inequality of common society nowadays.

Cast and Characters

The characters of the movie start with Kim family, a poor family who actually has talent but is still unlucky:

  1. Ki-taek, the father
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Ki-taek, who is played by Song Kang-ho, is the responsible father and will do anything to protect his family. His legendary quote from this movie is, “The best plan is not to have any plan“. He did several jobs. but still did not bring any luck to provide his family a better life.

2. Chung-sook, mother

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Chung-sook, played by Jang Hye-jin, is portrayed as a mother who speak frankly, and is fearless and strong. She used to be an athlete who competed in hammer throw and was a silver medalist in her youth.

3. Ki-jung, the daughter

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Ki-jung, played by Park So-dam, is a smart yet manipulative woman who uses her talent for graphic design by helping her brother, Ki-woo, create a fake degree certificate flawlessly. As the genius one in the family, she always has an idea to solve any problem until one bad incident happened in their life, leaving her desperately confused.

4. Ki-woo, the son

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Ki-woo, played by Choi Woo-shik, is a simple, smart boy who tends to overthink things. He actually has a good heart, but sometimes puts it in the wrong way. He’s actually the person who started bringing his family a better life by planning to get Ki-jung working on the Park family, and then rest of his family.

Next is the Park family, the rich family who is full of foolishness and arrogance:

  1. Mr. Park, the father
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Mr. Park, played by Lee Sun-kyun, is a successful businessman. He bought an expensive house from the the most prestigious architect in South Korea. The characters is arrogant, and believes that there always needs to be a distance between him and his servants.  Yet, he is also easily trapped into Kim family plan.

2. Mrs. Park, the mother

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Mrs. Park is naïve and easy to manipulate. She was played by Cho Yeo-jeong in this movie. She does not have any skill with housekeeping, and is very careless and indecisive. She plays an important role in making the Kim family’s plan work flawlessly. Mrs. Park fired all her servants one by one, and hiring the members of the Kim family as replacements.

3. Da-hye, the daughter

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Da-hye is a typical high school girl who is quick to fall in love and gets irritated by simple things. This role was played by Jung Ji-so. She could do anything only about love.

4. Da-song, the son

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Da-song, who played by Jung Hun-jung, is a special child who is hyperactive and expresses his ideas through drawing. Moreover, he likes anything relating to scouts. He experiences something scary which leads him into some different behavior.  As a result, his mother wants him to have art teacher that will help him to learn manners and respond like other children.

Last but not the least, the gong when the horror and thriller comes:

  1. Moon gwang, the house-servant
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She is the former housemaid of the Park family. She was played by Lee-Jung-eun, who has allergic to peaches. She has a secret that has been hidden for several years and finally gets revealed, leading to a lot of the tension in themovie.

2. Geun-sae, Moon-gwang’s husband

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Geun-sae is epically played by Park Myeong-hoon. He becomes the villain in this movie, and has been hiding in a secret bunker of the Park family for years to get away from his loan shark after his Taiwanese bakery business failed. He becomes very triggered after seeing what happened to his supportive wife, leading to a very unexpected plot twist.

Press Conference

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The film’s cast, along with Bong Joon-ho, the director, attended a press conference at a Seoul hotel on Feb. 19, 2020. Parasite has become the first non-English movie to win four awards at the 92nd Academy Awards ceremony. The awards were for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film.

Citing from abcNews, Bong Joon-ho said in the news conference, “I didn’t want to avoid such a part even a little bit. Audiences might hate that or feel uncomfortable to watch it but I thought the only option I can have for this movie is depicting the world we live as frankly as possible, though that might be risky commercially.

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At the Academy Award (Oscar) ceremony, Bong Joon-ho appeared so content, happy, and humble receiving the awards. He mentioned all the most prestigious directors that inspired him when he was learning about filming, and who were also in the room, and all the people who supported his career. He spoke genuinely about how he felt, and loved to share his trophy to other nominated best director. He proudly said “The most personal is the most creative,” which is a quote from Martin Scorsese, another remarkable director who was also nominated for Best Director.