In this section of our Colossus Movie Guide for Parasite, we answer questions you have about the movie. If you’re curious about plot explanations, meanings, themes, lessons, motifs, symbols, or just confused by something, ask and we’ll do our best to answer.
- Mr. Kim – Song Kang-ho
- Chung-sook – Jang Hye-jin
- Kim Ki-woo (Kevin) – Choi Woo-shik
- Kim Ki-jung (Jessica) – Park So-dam
- Mrs. Park – Choi Yeon-gyo
- Mr. Park – Lee Sun-kyun
- Park Da-hye – Jung Ji-so
- Park Da-song – Jung Hyeon-jun
- Gook Moon-gwang – Lee Jung-eun
- Oh Geun-sae – Park Myung-hoon
- Min-hyuk – Park Seo-joon
- Written by – Bong Joon-ho, Han Jin-won
- Directed by – Bong Joon-ho
Parasite | Questions and Answers
Does Ki-woo really end up owning the house and reuniting his family?
No. The vision Ki-woo has is a set-up for the idea that making plans never works. So the fact that he makes this plan that has this happy ending is only there to elevate the film’s final tragedy—Ki-woo will probably never escape the shackles of his family’s economic level. He will probably never see his dad again. Unless Mr. Kim decides to leave the house bunker and see his wife and son one last time.
Is Mr. Kim really living in the bunker of the house and sending morse code messages?
Yes. Parasite wouldn’t set up Geun-sae living there and sending morse code messages if it wasn’t something that had relevance later in the story.
What is Mr. Kim’s smell? Why can’t they get rid of it?
Mr. Park says it’s a fishy smell. The family discusses it at one point and talks about doing separate loads of laundry, all with different detergents. But they realize that the smell has nothing to do with the laundry and everything to do with where they live: in a sublevel apartment in a poor part of town. It’s kind of like if you live in a house with a smoker, all your clothes will smell like smoke. That’s the practical answer.
The more poetic, thematic answer is that the smell ends up being one of the subtle ways the film highlights the superficial differences between economic levels. As we see, the Kims aren’t any less capable than the Parks. They’ve been dealt a different hand. All things equal, the Kims probably would be more successful than the Parks. But things aren’t equal. A rainy day can ruin the lives of the Kims, but it’s a breath of fresh air for the Parks. Mr. Kim has this scent that he can’t do anything about. Mr. Park does not. All because of where they live.
Does the scholar’s rock really bring wealth?
No. If it did, it wouldn’t make sense for things to go so terribly wrong for the Kims. The fact that Geun-sae ends up bashing Ki-woo’s head with the stone and causing brain damage should answer this question. But Ki-woo does, for a time, truly believe in the power and promise of the stone.
Why does Ki-woo want to give the scholar’s rock to Moon-gwang and Geun-sae?
Ki-woo tells his father he has a plan that will solve the dilemma between the Kims and Moon-gwang and Geun-sae. That plan? To give the other couple the scholar’s rock that Min gave to the Kims. That’s because Ki-woo seems convinced of the rock’s mystical powers. By sharing the wealth, he thinks Moon-gwang and Geun-sae will go on to find a better situation of their own and that will allow the Kims to continue benefiting from the Parks.
Why was Geun-sae living in the bunker?
He explains that he had loans for a business that failed and people were coming to collect. It seems like these weren’t good people and his life was in danger. The bunker was probably initially a temporary stop. But Geun-sae grew comfortable and just became a parasite.
Is Parasite based on a true story?
Only in-so-far as Bong Joon-ho was aware of economic challenges facing South Korean youths. Really, young people the world over. There are many capable, qualified people who can’t find jobs. Especially jobs that allow someone to begin to close the wealth gap. So Parasite is kind of a love letter to Millennials and the oldest Zoomers who have run into this economic wall and the woes of increasing wealth inequality.
What questions do you have?
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