As movie buffs who spend a lot of time with and around films, we get a sense of what the stories in different cinemas might be about. Although we appreciate the way various tales are told, after a point, structurally stories rarely offer anything new. However, once in a while, a movie comes along that shakes you to the very core and makes you fall in love with films all over again. Bong Joon-ho’s masterpiece, ‘Parasite’, is certainly one such movie.
Titled ‘Gisaengchung’ locally, the dark comedy film made its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. The movie has made history by becoming the first South Korean film to win Palme d’Or. While it has already cemented its place as one of the finest works of cinema within film circles, a movie like ‘Parasite‘ deserves to become part of the mainstream conversation surrounding films not just because of the socialist undertones but because of how wonderfully it contrasts class privileges while remaining self-reflexive and critical enough to highlight class animosity as well. ‘Parasite‘ packs complex thematic points within an explosive and fast-paced script.
Since the movie has also been selected as South Korea’s entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards, this marks the perfect time for you to acquaint yourself with the movie. Thus, we are here to tell you where to watch ‘Parasite’, but first, let us walk you through the plot of the film.
What is Parasite About?
‘Parasite’ begins with a wonderful sequence relatable to modern society as we see a young boy searching for a wifi signal in his basement apartment. He is joined by his sister and as the scene unfurls, we are introduced to Kim Ki-taek, an unemployed driver and his family. He lives in shabby conditions with his wife, son, and daughter. The purpose behind the urgent search for the wifi becomes clear as the boy downloads a video showing how to fold pizza boxes.
The movie wonderfully transitions to the menial job the family has, folding pizza boxes for a restaurant nearby. As with those who are not well off, the family looks for free handouts, sometimes not realizing the consequences of their actions. While the director elaborates on this in greater detail as the central story of the film, the sentiment is perfectly and humorously captured right at the start of the film, when Kim opts for free fumigation, leading to the entire apartment being covered in bug spray, much to the discomfort of the family members.
As they scrape together, making ends meet, the son’s friend comes over and turns their fortunes. He offers the young boy a job tutoring a school kid in English. The kid comes from a wealthy family and the friend promises that the money is good. Soon the son realizes how naive the family is and decides to bring in his sister, to supplement their family income. The sister joins as an art teacher/therapist to the young boy belonging to the same wealthy family. The father and mother join soon after, replacing the wealthy family’s driver and housekeeper through various devious schemes.
The wealthy Park family soon becomes increasingly dependent on Kim and his family, who benefit from the hosts’ generosity and wealth like the titular parasite. However, their peaceful employment conditions are interrupted one rainy night. As Kim and his family exploit the Park family’s absence by relaxing in their living room, they are visited by the old housekeeper who claims to have forgotten something in the basement. This turns out to be a blatant lie, as it appears the housekeeper’s husband has been living in the basement of the Park family’s house, living off their resources. Bong’s film comes to a tipping point here since the old housekeeper offers a chance at class solidarity where Kim and his family would keep the husband’s existence a secret and help him live. Kim’s family refuses and it marks the beginning of a set of hostile actions.
The housekeeper and her husband keep trying to gain the upper hand, to which Kim’s family reacts violently. Violence begets violence and the housekeeper’s husband crashes a party organized by the Parks. As the housekeeper’s husband and Kim’s family fight among themselves for survival, Mr. Park makes a disdainful remark about poor people.
Kim, who has already suffered heavy losses, snaps, and the director portrays class warfare excellently in the explosive final moments of the movie. At the end of the film, we see Kim on the run from the law as his family gets off for their crimes. Ironically, Kim is now trapped in the same basement of the house where the Park family lived. His son promises to make enough money to buy the house and free his father as the film ends with the boy sitting in the same shabby apartment where the film began.
Is Parasite on Netflix?
Netflix calls itself a premier content provider and justifiably so. Not only does the platform have a large number of films and television shows, but the content quality is top-notch as well. While ‘Parasite’ is not available on the platform, you can check out Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Okja‘, whose themes are akin to ‘Parasite’ although much more overtly stated.
Is Parasite on Hulu?
Hulu rarely disappoints with the kind of movies and television shows it boasts of. The platform always tries to stay ahead of competitors. While ‘Parasite’ is not on the platform, you can check out ‘Fyre Fraud‘, which is a commentary on post-capitalism and how morality functions in a post-truth era. The themes are highlighted through a failed music festival.
Is Parasite on Amazon Prime?
Amazon Prime is the closest contender to Netflix in terms of content. While ‘Parasite’ is not available to Prime subscribers either, you can check out one of Bong Joon-ho’s best works, ‘Memories of Murder‘, on the platform.
Where Can I Stream Parasite Online?
Unfortunately, ‘Parasite’ is not available for streaming elsewhere on the internet for now. You have to wait for some time until the movie arrives on various platforms.
Is Parasite Out on DVD and BluRay?
‘Parasite’ will be available on DVD and BluRay from January 28, 2020. If you want to get it on Digital HD, you have a chance to watch it earlier, since it will be made available from January 14, 2020. However, if you are of an impatient disposition, you can preorder your copy of the movie here.
Can I Stream Parasite Online For Free?
Sorry to disappoint the freeloaders but there is no way to stream ‘Parasite’ for free at the moment. Moreover, we strongly urge you to support and pay for great art like ‘Parasite’ that we have the pleasure of witnessing during our time.
Read More in Movie Guide: The Farewell