File Sharing Gisaengchung 47

Country South Korea.
Bong Joon Ho.
year 2019.
Star Yeo-jeong Jo.
Runtime 132 Minute

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The appreciation for “Parasite” is I think partially dependent on the expectations that you have in advance.
I expected to see a movie in line with “The handmaiden” 2016, Chan Wook Park) or (an older example) The servant” 1963, Joseph Losey) where the servants gradually take over the power. My expectations where also rather high given the ecxellent South Korean thriller “Burning” 2018, Chang Dong Lee) that I saw recently. Both films share the same cinematographer (Kyung Pyo Hong.
My expectations where not fulfilled. There is no slow change in the power balance between masters and servants but the cunning servants overwhelm their naive masters in a breathtaking tempo. In this stage the film has a caricatural / comedy element in it that was not to my taste. It is rather difficult to combine the crime and comedy genres, and only the Coen brothers (for example “Fargo” 1996) are able to do this job well.
One can also see the film in an entirely different way, namely as a social drama about the gap between rich and poor. In “Parasite” the rich and the poor are geographically seperated. The poor are living downhill and the rich are living in the upper parts of town. In film such a setting has ancient origins. Think about a classic as “Metropolis” 1927, Frits Lang. The subject of the gap between rich and poor is however still actual (think of the writings of the economist Thomas Piketty. At the same time as “Parasite” the latest film of Ken Loach was released ( Sorry, we missed you. In “Parasite” the underdogs of society are not so honest as in “Sorry, we missed you” and (controray to the combination crime / comedy) the combination social drama / comedy works well. It makes the film less moralizing.
I like to mention one element in the film that is easily overlooked but has for me a symbolic meaning. At a certain point in the film the masters notice that their servants all have the same stuffy smell. This smell comes from their damp apartment downtown. The symbolic meaning for me was that the servants are judged after their origin and not after their capabilities. In this way there is no upside social potential and the society becomes static. Success is inheritable.
The youngest son of the masters is a bit strange and likes to be in the garden when the rain is pouring. Visually this gives rise to some scenes that made me think of “Prejudice” 2015, Antoine Cuypers.