This is neither a comparison nor a judgmental view of the societal class. It is a work of art, pure, unbiased, a sequence of events that flows like water and takes up any shape just like the lifeline. Bong Joon-Ho has created masterpieces much before this film but was awarded an Oscar for this South Korean flick in the general category, first time ever in the history of film-making. This film explores the intricacies of life on both sides of the class spectrum. There is sophistication, space, privacy, discipline, light, success, money, purpose, and potential on one side as compared to disorientation, chaos, meagerness, randomness, bleakness, failure, smiles, togetherness, and potential to conquer their dreams through chance. This chance provides an entry point leading to the unfortunate getting deceived in a world of possibilities on the road to fulfill their dreams. Witnessing the almost unimaginable access to luxury lifestyle, they slowly and carefully start treading to the other side looking for a chance to have a lifestyle they had only dreamed of without thinking of what lies ahead. Both sides are wary of each other but do not control the outcome at the end. Oblivious to them is the fact that they are not alone in this race to chase their dreams but some-one else before them had tried and failed miserably. They lingered at the thought of conquering it. The intentions are not fatal but just a strong desire to experience what life has to offer which was not meant for them. The sequence of events is so unpredictable that in just a short period, everything goes back to where it was or much worse.
This cinematic experience is not a lesson but a short excerpt on each of our lives trying hard to go over to the other side and praying for a chance just like the one given to the dark side as an entry ticket to the other side. We fail to understand that we are not alone in this race of going over to the other side and the resource providers have a very defensive outlook towards the unknown but are still unmindful of the existing parasites. Each of us is not born into a household but to a mindset that very few of us defy and outgrow the mental boundary that life has put us in the first place or we have opted to be there. True happiness is an intangible commodity felt with your family and the feeling can be mutual if you bring in everyone to the same journey. Things fall apart if we or someone else from the lot go back to our defaults. Life has a way to suck us back into our defaults.
Bong Joon-Ho brings in some discreet messages on the screen if you take careful heed of it, for example, both the classes are not in front of each other without a line depicted either through the edge of a glass window or segregation in a separate room, the brighter class is always on a higher platform either on route or within the mansion for gaining social mobility, rains mean a different experience for the fortunate ones and loss for the other.
I wouldn’t say Parasite is a lifetime experience or a must watch in your bucket-list, but view it for a different kind of movie experience which is “LIFE”. The story line is not powerful but the intensity of each scene, if observed closely, can leave an everlasting impact. You will wonder how close is the imitation of emotions to real life when both sides collide only if you have a story to tell. Some critics claim that it is an overrated film but I am sure those come from the brighter spectrum of the classes who are always unaware of the sacrifices that the other end pays to grow. “Parasite” reveals to us that If given a chance at a better life, people have the potential to outgrow their boundaries and can adapt to any situation out of desperation but cannot beat the ultimate architect: LIFE. In the end, it all comes down to the meaning of the title: is it ignorance of the rich class, shackles of poverty, or never-ending run for a better life. What is PARASITE?
Mohamed Irfan Sheikh
Mohamed Irfan currently works as a Course Leader at Athena Global Education. Prior to this, he has worked as a faculty in the School of Business and School of Computing at University of Stirling and Birla Institute of Technology, U.A.E. He has worked in responsible positions in other companies as well. Irfan is an AFHEA (Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy), U.K. and holds a Masters in Management Studies (Major in Operations) along with Bachelor’s degree in Engineering (Major in Production) from Mumbai University, India.
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