Parasite, a movie of dark humor, illustrates the social disparity and professional pretenses leading the whole story line to end with a class conflict. It portrays the pictorial realism within the visual structure, and successively blends these forms within two hours and eleven minutes. Parasite excessively uses the techniques of “visual montage”. It humorously expounds the social reality using the patterns of chronological and acute framing techniques, making it contended for the Oscars too.

Moreover, it has used the techniques of “parallelism” in story-line and “vertical relationship” to depict the crucial reality of the poor and the rich classes.  Bong Joon-ho, the director, himself said “I wanted this film to seem a little more realistic. I was tired of seeing rich people who were always bad and greedy, and poor people who were always nice and helping each other. I was tired of that dichotomy”.

Delving into the first phase of the movie, we can encounter that Mr. Kim’s family are working for the small pizza company, preparing covers for pizza delivery. The very pizza itself seems to act as the semantic code to represent the class division. This implies that the movie initially propounds the visualization of the intense class complexion, which actually shows lower class is working for upper class.

The class division is sketched out in the movie by various means and representation. For example: The house of Mr. Park has three layers in his house, the Upper floor, the Ground floor and the Basement. And as we descend to each layer, the visual coloration and texture gets more grotesque. The upper floor of the house is immaculately projected and only some parts of it are exposed throughout the movie, representing how the Upper classes have undiscovered realities. As the movie explores more towards the lower layer of house, the framing technique gets more whimsical. On the Ground floor, the gestures of the camera tend to be in full rotation (360) about the axes, revealing every bit in this floor. Unlike the Upper floor, the Ground floor seems to contain brown texture; the visual coloration in this floor appears to be mild and undefiled. But as the shots are revealed thoroughly to the Basement, it is demonstrated to be a completely shocking, horrific and appalling place. It is almost covered with dark texture and also the events following in this layer seem to impose a complexly stunned scenario among the audience.

“Scholar’s Stone” known as “Suseok” in Korea is one of the center of metaphoric objects utilized throughout the movie. A good friend of Ki-Woo hands him this referential stone considering it to bring good fortune to the family. The whole of Kim family gazes at it as an uninvited and an unusual visitor. Later, as the fortune of the family escalates, they eventually forget to control it as usual. This stone later referentially backfires to the Kim family themselves. It acts as the revelation that the misuse and extravagant utilization of fortune can bring downfall to themselves. By the end of the movie Ki-Woo places the stone among other stones in the river, which implies that, in the end, the stone simply acts as a memory carrier of events in the past life of the Kim family.

As Ki-Woo infiltrates the house of Mr. Park, he speculates through the achievements of the Park family. Among this speculation he stumbles in the photo that details “Augmented Reality” that “Allows you to walk around the streets of New York”. This indicates a kind of indirect implication of technological manipulation imposed by Mr. Park to general people. The company owned by Mr. Park indirectly drives the people away from reality and instigates them to psychologically mandate the unreal world and walk through unreal virtual streets.

It is also vivid that Mr. Park is only seen on the topmost floors of houses, be it in his office room, or in his house. Throughout the movie, Mr. Park also never frankly speaks to any of his servants, which indicates the unusual irony, because Mr. Park himself owns a company which helps to connect people.

Later, when the house maid (Moon-Gwang) reaches out to Mrs. Choi, it is evidently clear to envision the division between the maid and Mrs. Choi. This top-shot angel synchronizes not only two but three divisions of social class. The maid is placed on the left side of the glass-plate lining, while the master is placed on the right side. The third one is Ki-Woo himself; this division is created through the symbolic codes of dress imposition. The Ki-Woo throughout the first visit to the Park family wears a complete black dress. While Mrs.Choi wears a complete white dress, and the maid as mediator between these two groups, wears complete brown.

The body language designated during the shot draws to conclude the scene as indication of class conflict. Mrs.Choi on the right is sleeping and the maid on the other side is gesturing to herself in a polite manner to wake Mrs.Choi up. This cinematic condition also foreshadows the climaxing conflict of the movie, when the Park family and Kim family nearly collapse trying to defeat and defend. Looking further, the dress code of Kim family gets gradually whitened as Kim family innately gets adjoined inside Mr.Park’s house.  

As we stroll further towards the mid section of the movie, the schizophrenia that Ki- Jung addresses to Mrs.Choi about her son can be unclouded as we visualize the color sketch of Oh-Sae. The dark stench culminating at the lower right region of frame signifies the presence of a dark basement in the house unknown to any characters of the movie, except Oh-Sae. Similar smudges can be seen tentatively at the same spot in other sketches of Oh-Sae. This phenomenon also explains why Mrs.Choi explained the mysterious event about Oh-Sae encountering the mysterious man from the basement during his birthday in first grade. This scene also portrays a puzzling truth by visualizing Mrs.Choi, to accuse the Basement man (Geum-Sae) for the reason of Oh-Sae’s trauma.

Moreover, it also construes that this image is referring to lighting system of the house; the yellow upward arrow directly refers to the lighting phenomenon that is paradoxically juxtaposed with the yellow sun, which also indicates the auto-lighting yellow bulb above the ladders, which automatically lights up whenever Mr.Park enters the house. It also evidently shows the psychological eagerness of the Basement man waiting unconsciously to place himself on the Ground floor. The yellow arrow in the sketch propounds the unconscious desire of the Basement man that wants to place himself among the upper class in social order, ultimately, clarifying and foreshadowing the conflict that takes place at the end of the movie.

This particular shot has attentively used the renaissance framing techniques, which has the semblance of keeping the idol at the center of the frame. The static camera movement produces the internal “idol” formation to the “pizza”, which was, in the initial part of movie, a semantic code for representing the rich class.

The same code now is symbolically infiltrated and permeated by the speckle of red pickle. This crystallizes the pizza to be a symbolic code of the Park family, while the permeation of the red pickle implies to be the symbolic code of the Kim family.

Later when the infiltration of the house is completed, the Kim family will have a climax of their family internal conversation, where they expound their underlying desires and social understanding. Kim tries to explain to his wife about Mrs.Choi;

Kim: “She is rich, but still nice.”

Choong: Not “Rich, but still nice.”

“Nice because she is rich, you know?

Hell, if I had all this money.

I’d be nice too!

Even nicer!”

The script built up seems to illustrate the idea of concept displacement within rich and poor classes. Later during the same script progression, the Kim family talks about the property achievement by the process of marrying Ms.Da-Hye , and it is at this very point, the fortune of the Kim family starts to decline. This sentiment of script progression of marrying and (sometimes having physical contact among characters) also breaks the traditional notions of storytelling, breaking the barriers of division between aristocrat and commoner. It tries to mash the two forms of vast social lives into a singular system.  This similar technique of mashing two social classes into a singular system was first noticed in the theatrical work “Miss Julie” by August Strindberg too.

One of the most dramatic moments in Parasite can be detected in a shot where the maid of house practices the anchoring speech of “Kim Jong-Un ”. This revelation again explicitly spurts the unconscious desire of the maid. She caricatures her daily experience in this particular shot, and unconsciously manifests the speech as if her family has been victimized due to nuclear “shock and fury”.

This very shot excavates the whole scenario of the movie, introducing the whole new phase in scene progression. It propounds the whole new idea about the psychological formation of poorer class. These notions of shift are detected through the speech delivery. As the Kim family place themselves at the end of the economic chain, they are practically unaware that there lies a poorer class below them, within this chain. This poorer class is silent and unnoticed, and they too have similar desire to stay in the upper level of the economic chain, exactly as the Kim family wants to stay in place of the Park family.

Also, during the speech delivery, she extremely patronizes “Kim Jong-Un”, as if he is god. Her patronization vividly shows her idolization to Kim Jong. Similar patronization is seen in her husband too, for Mr.Park. Whenever Mr.Park enters the house, he sputters “Respect!” Even at his dying hours he shouted “Respect!” addressing to Mr.Park. This simplifies that the poorer class, unconsciously and luridly visualizes Mr.Park as an Idol.

The shot of speech delivery is seen precisely from a lower angle, keeping the addresser at the top of the screen. This implication of shooting personifies the addressor to be a commander or dictator of a certain group (Kim family). Again the speaker is visualized in the center of frame in order to focus all the attention towards the speaker.

The body language of the maid that she is sitting above her husband also indicates that she is responsible for his life force, in keeping him alive day to day by transferring food from ground floor kitchen to the basement.

Towards the end of the movie, the Kim family returns back to their home. The interminable downward stairs seems almost horrific, and the situation that follows this precise scene seems completely grating from all aspects. It smothers upon the idea that no matter how much one tries to run after the high class social achievements, the vagaries of life strikes us back, which ultimately drags us to our own reality.

Similar situational repositioning can be recognized in the central section of the movie which is inextricable to this scene. The scene relates to job removal of drivers. During the removal of the driver, the resourceful reason was about the female undergarment found in the backseat of the car. When Mr.Park brought it to the kitchen, it was caught by Mrs.Choi open handedly in the beginning, later when she found it was caught in the backseat of the driver, she immediately wears the glove and advances to dispose of it. This scene presents the universal situation that is precisely an indispensable social understanding.

Delving towards the end sections of the movie, the prominence of ‘parasite’ can be surmounted from a completely unusual perspective. The Kim family tends to be precise for being held as parasites and this phenomenon is encircled by the placing of the Kim family amid the stench of water. The parasitic organisms are especially aquatic. Director Bong Joon-ho portrays the movie by twisting plots sinuously, curving the aerial shots in such a way that one is effectively unaware of committing an emotional remorse until the end. But, the real parasite is still left conspiratorial till the final conflict of the movie.

One of the crucial contrasts can be pointed out by consequential differences in Kim and Park family, which was resulted from havoc due to heavy rainfall. The rainfall leads the Kim family to spend a night in the gym and abandon their home. While the same rainfall leads the Park family to abandon their camping trip. Later at the birthday shopping Mrs.Choi says, “Right, that rain was such a blessing!” This brings forth the idea how the rainfall has actually acted in favor of the Park family. Bong Joon-ho here tries to represent the referential and semantic codes by ingraining the weather to act as artifice for the Park family.

The major conflict takes place at the end of the movie. When Mrs.Choi talks about the “Crane Wing Formation”, she actually signals about the upcoming conflict. “Crane Wing Formation” is a military strategy practiced during the battle of Hansan Island in the 1590s. This tactic forms a “U” shaped wing-like formation with assessment of battle ships, captivating the enemy to be at center. Now, contrasting this analogy to the birthday party, Da-Hye is seen visually at the center of the birthday party, and creates optical development where she is killed like an enemy (defeated) by Guen-Sae. The omniscient camera movement is conveniently practiced throughout the scene which also accredits for the formation of the wing.

Moreover, the framing of Mr.Park and Mr.Kim sitting opposite to each other in “still camera” movement also signifies the beginning of conflict. The Native American attire in the movie illustrates the concept of disharmony between the natives and imperialists. Later, when the conflict starts Mr.Park closes his nose due to heavy stench spreading out from Basement man. But, the Basement man still cried “Respect!” for Mr.Park while dying. This phenomenon has been followed by Guen-Sae since the mid-section of the movie. It clarifies the conceptual idea that he extremely idolizes Mr.Park. The precession of conflict extends to extremely grim situations, which leads to the death casualties of Da-Hye, Guen-Sae and Mr.park.

In the end, the question still lingers among the audience, who might be the real ‘parasite’? The solution to this paradox is adduced with the sense of economic dependence. It seems that the economic dependence is apparent in the Kim family, while in the Park family, similar dependence is formulated by the underlying clues. Different hidden visual clues are obscurely designated throughout the movie. The genre of music (sound track) also irregularly shifts from Classic Opera to Victorian Gothic and keeps on circulating between these two. This represents the rapid optical variations too that follows the conspicuous montage throughout the movie. The sequential changes in optical effects also lead the audience to develop a sense that the movie lies in the genre of horror and gothic. The narrative of camera and sequential continuity creates a horrific instinct, but the particular “Ghost-spirit” is never actually revealed. This notion is formulated by utilization of “Morse code”, which is the system of reading and decoding the numeric binary representations. The Morse code was utilized by Ki-Woo to decode the letters from his father. Morse code is used as a metaphor to represent the entity and presence of “ghost” without showing the actual character. If we look hard enough at the visual montage applied in the movie, we can find the “Ghosts” were human-self. This can be evident by certain examples: The “Ghost” visualized by Mrs.Choi in the beginning turns out to be a Basement man; later again, Mr.Kim turns out to take the place of the Basement man at the end of the movie. Additionally, in the beginning Bong Joon-ho presents Mr.Park as the economic tycoon for enticing people to the “unreal” by production of “augmented reality”. These illustrations also clarify the ‘parasite’. The real parasite here is the identity that regulates through all classes and people. All the characters in the movie are economically and psychologically interdependent and ‘parasitic’ to each other. The theme presented by the movie is made profound by the implication of punishment. Mr.Park is punished for his deeds for enticing the populace towards illusion, while Mr.Kim and the Basement man are punished for their immoral economic dependence and misusing their fortune.

Finally, the movie tries to unite and reveal the faults of people in every class of society. If the Kim family had not forgotten their reality and had not misused their fortune, they were less likely to suffer calamity. If the Park family had not opposed the Kim family they too would have lived their life at ease. The movie prominently makes us aware of social reality and acts as oeuvre to justify the faults that lie in everyone. It advises us to view the world with a little subtleness, and encourages us, in spite of the anguishes that we confront in our daily lives to adhere to the message that we incessantly need to move on.