[Spoiler Warning: This post discusses highly granular details of the movie Parasite, and it really wouldn’t make sense unless you watched the movie first.]
Parasite is a story of three families. But if you tried to guess the plotline by reading thinkpieces and analyses about the movie without having watched the movie, you would never know it involved the third family.
To remind ourselves, let us recap Parasite’s dramatis personae. The rich Park family lives in a gorgeous house atop a hill. Its father Dong-ik is a CEO of a tech company. Mother Yeon-gyo is somewhat of a trophy wife, who considers herself to be sophisticated but is in fact oblivious and gullible. They have two children, high school junior daughter Da-hye and third grader son Da-song.
The poor Kim family lives in a half-basement at the bottom of a hill. The movie hints that the Kim family once lived a decent middle-class life, running small businesses like a fried chicken joint and a castella cake store. But at the beginning of Parasite, all members of the Kim family are unemployed; they get by doing odd jobs like folding pizza boxes. The Kim family members infiltrate the Park family home one by one under false pretenses. First, the son Ki-woo fakes a college diploma to get a job as an English tutor for Da-hye. The daughter Ki-jeong pretends to be an art therapist, getting a job to look after Da-song. Ki-jeong then frames the Park family’s chauffeur, and installs the father Ki-taek as the replacement driver for Dong-ik. Finally, the three Kims scheme against the housekeeper Mun-gwang, also driving her out and replacing her with the mother Chung-suk.
Then there is third family that receives little to no spotlight in movie reviews: the Oh family, the husband and wife duo of Geun-sae and Mun-gwang. Like the Kims, the Ohs were also destroyed after their small business failed. They were in the same line of business (the infernal castella cakes,) but they fell even harder than the Kims did. The wife Mun-gwang managed to hold her job as a housekeeper to the Park family, but the husband Geun-sae is less fortunate. Running from loan sharks, Geun-sae hid in the Park family house’s secret basement and lived there for over four years. He was fairly content with his life at the bottom, until the Kims drove out Mun-gwang from the Park family house and disrupted that life.
(More after the jump.)
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