The phrase “fake it ‘til you make it” has never rung truer than for Bong Joon-ho’s macabre comedy thriller Parasite. After a tremendous run on the festival circuit, including becoming the first Korean film to win the illustrious Palme d’Or at Cannes, a wider cinema release has now been confirmed, along with an eerie new trailer to draw us in to the intriguing tale of deception and desperation.
A satire on class and social stratification, Parasite follows the Kim family, a poverty-stricken group of chancers and, you guessed it, the titular parasites, as they ingratiate themselves in the lives of the far wealthier Park family. Unemployed, leeching off the neighbours’ wi-fi and risking passive intoxication for the sake of a free fumigation, the Kims scrape by in their basement dwelling apartment until the son, Ki-Woo, forges his way in as an English tutor for the Parks. Slowly but surely, the Kims work their way into the family, dismantling the already established hierarchy of housekeepers, art teachers and drivers and replacing them with themselves.
But, with the taste of the other side, just how far will the Kims go to maintain the new status quo? With them firmly implanted in the Parks’ bourgeoisie bubble, there are going to be twists and turns in tight corridors abound as Bong fluctuates between the mundane and the insane and questions of morality begin to emerge. “They’re rich but still nice”, patriarch Kim Ki-Taek offers, only for a swift retort “they’re nice because they’re rich.”
The film is already touted as being one of the best of the decade, a statement only bolstered by numerous accolades and whisperings of an awards season sweep before the sweepstakes have even begun. Bong Joon-ho is no stranger to dark humour, especially when it sparks a discussion on current affairs. Nothing proved this more than 2017’s Netflix exclusive Okja, another Cannes contender satirising our relationship with the meat industry, animal rights and veganism with dystopian concepts.
Parasite will see a cinema release October 11th.
Words by Jack Roberts