Parasite ★★★★½

World Tour 2020

My family is a working class one.

My dad is a builder. He's supposed to be retiring in April because he had a liver transplant four years ago and shouldn't be pushing himself anywhere near as hard as he has been, plus his knees are now gone. But he couldn't retire any earlier because he couldn't afford to. My mum runs his business. My youngest brother works with him and my other brother is an electrician.

Our aspirations as a family have never been particularly lofty. We toyed with the idea of moving to Australia when I was in the sixth form but we never would have had enough money to do that. Personally, I'm not sure what mine were, my childhood is quite a long way in the distance now. These days I would just be happy with having enough to retire on, which is never going to happen without a lottery-assisted leg-up.

Nothing that we have hoped for or wanted is too much. Or at least I don't think it is. Yet it seems almost unachievable. Just to get themselves a quartet of decent jobs, the family in Parasite have to come up with an elaborate scheme that involves rehearsal, carefully cultivated lies and more than a pinch of good luck. They're not asking for much either.

They gain these jobs at the expense of people who have done nothing wrong. The only way they can get themselves into a position of comparative comfort is by stepping on those who are in the same spot as they are. This is what we are left doing. Clambering over each other, grasping desperately for the brass ring because this is the only choice we have. Or the only choice they have allowed us to have.

Parasite isn't a film about the upper class vs the working class. I've seen people cite The Servant, amongst other films, as a must-watch in 'preparing' to watch Bong Joon-ho's film. Parasite isn't really like The Servant though. This is about the working class being pitted against itself to scrap for some crumbs. This family isn't [REDACTED] at the end. One of them is [REDACTED], another is [REDACTED], one suffers from [REDACTED] and he is [REDACTED] with his mother.

There's only ever one winner.

Steve G liked this review