Why “Parasite” Truly Deserved Its Accolades


Why “Parasite” Truly Deserved Its Accolades

The first Korean film to receive a Golden Globe.

by Whiteboard Journal


Text: Avicena Farkhan Dharma
Photo: The Hollywood Reporter

Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” makes yet another mark in history as the first Korean film to win a Golden Globe. They previously made history after being named the first Korean movie to win the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. This time, “Parasite” was nominated for three awards at The 77th Golden Globe Awards, contending for Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Film – Foreign Language, which they took home an award in the latter category. Here are some reasons why “Parasite” truly deserved their accolade in the Golden Globes and possibly the Oscars.

The Critique of Society

The plot of this film revolves around a poor Korean family that manipulates their way into the employment of a rich and sophisticated family. Through that, “Parasite” sheds light on the issue of class, welfare, and disparity in our society through a genre-fluid film that conveyed those messages precisely. It doesn’t give you a 3 hour-long lecture about the flaws of capitalism by running through the best works of Marx and Engels, but it portrayed the glaring flaws of capitalism through everyday life. It revolves around a family – a household. It sends a message that the very problem of capitalism is actually not far to look at which it’s ingrained in our lives, but we just may not realize it.

The Universal Issue

Bong Joon-ho’s initial idea with “Parasite” was to highlight the issue of disparity and poverty in Korea. But surprisingly, this film went across borders, across continents. The issue that it brought up is universal. Bong himself stated that “The film talks about two opposing families, about the rich versus the poor, and that is a universal theme, because we all live in the same country now: that of capitalism.”

It’s a Complete Film

“Parasite” brought us into a rollercoaster of emotions – it’s funny, gripping, and tragic all at once. But above all, it’s thought-provoking. Something that most films nowadays are lacking. It successfully addressed a major issue about class through the tiniest little details of our lives. It made us aware of the big problem, through the smallest scope.

The House Set

An estimated 60% of “Parasite” was shot in the grand and luxurious Park family home. What the audience might not know until later was that the entire house set was built from scratch.   In the film, the modern architectural house was designed by Namgoong Hyeongja, a fictional character. While in truth, the house was the creation of Parasite’s production designer, Lee Ha Jun. In an interview with IndieWire, Lee explained that his approach into building the set was strictly for the need of production. As he himself has no architectural background. “I’m not an architect, and I think there’s a difference in how an architect envisions a space and how a production designer does. We prioritize blocking and camera angles while architects build spaces for people to actually live in and thus design around people”. From the large front garden to the dark and harrowing basement, the house set complemented the film in almost every aspect.

The Cast Ensemble

Lastly, the incredible screenwriting by Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won was delivered magnificently by the cast. While the cast might be relatively unknown to audiences outside of South Korea, they actually consisted of a few well renowned Korean actors such as Song Kang-ho and Choi Woo-shik. The master level writing by Bong is beyond doubt, but the performance the cast delivered are more than worthy of accolades. whiteboardjournal, logo