Recently crowned the best picture winner at the 92nd Academy Awards, Parasite has cemented itself in history. Possibly the greatest movie of all time, Parasite took home four Oscars on Sunday night: Best Picture, Best Director, Best International Film and Best Original Screenplay. However, the Oscars were not the only awards show Parasite swept; the film has been celebrating multiple wins throughout awards season. While I know that these awards shows are not the definitive voice in what makes a good movie, it is nice to see such an incredible film recognized.
However, I think some people have missed the point. I’m pretty sure I have thought about Parasite every day for the last three months. This is the kind of film that inspires and deserves this sort of extensive thought and reflection. Bong Joon Ho did not make this movie just to make a movie. It is supposed to leave you reeling.
While I hope that you all, as college students, reflect on this movie, it is the ridiculously wealthy people that really need to take in this movie's message. And while it was so satisfying that Jeff Bezos was in the room when Parasite won, I doubt he really understood it’s message. As pointed out in a tweet by user @haaniyah_: “Parasite being loved by celebrities doesn’t mean the message isn’t strong enough, it just means that celebs refuse to see themselves as evil rich people”.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SLATE MAGAZINE
These exuberantly rich celebrities have been celebrating this movie and it seems to go over their heads that it is about them. The movie is a commentary about them and their ridiculous wealth. For example, at the Oscars, after celebs were done celebrating Parasite’s wins, the nominees in all four acting categories and one directing category (24 nominees in total) walked away with gift bags worth $225,000 each. According to a Forbes article about these gift bags, the value of all 24 bags comes to $5.4 million. These bags include a cruise valued at over $78,000, a gold plated vape pen and a getaway in a Spanish lighthouse, to name just a few.
Will the nominees think about Parasite and its anti-capitalist message while enjoying a bath with their $75 bath bomb? Probably not. But right now, it seems that disliking the popular film would severely damage their reputation. So they will tweet their praise for the movie and move on with their lives, which is exactly what Parasite warns against.
As Bong Joon Ho himself stated, “No matter where it screens, which country or festival, the audience response has been pretty similar. I think that’s because, while on the surface the film features very Korean characters and details, in the end it’s as if we’re all living in this one country of capitalism.”
Anna is a senior English major with minors in Art History and Women and Gender Studies.