Parasite (2019) - Analysis?

My guesses:

OS - Manipulation >> Playing a Role/Being “A poor family, con their way into becoming the servants of a rich family.”
MC - Kim Ki-taek, the son
IC - I’m not sure about this… Maybe his father?
RS - Activity

Change?, Beer?, Logical?, Action Driver, Optionlock, Failure/Bad

Plot synopsis:

My gut tells me that this movie is not a GAS.

That said, there are still questions that can be answered.

The family manipulates their way into the rich household fairly easily. Does that mean it’s not Manipulation?

The movie is generally regarded as a commentary on wealth inequality. Knowing nothing else, where in the chart would you put Wealth inequality if it were the OS Domain?

What is his unique motivation/problem/perspective?

Finding a storyform is more about the specifics and less about the things that seem right.

It’s hard to answer Failure without knowing the OS Goal. What do you see as the OS Goal?


Actualy I’m not 100% sure either, but I think there is a potential GAS.

To the Situation Domain. But isn’t the Wealth inequality in this story is more like the subject matter?

It seems to me that the OS conflicts arise from lies, manipulations and problematic thinkings. Examples: The Kim family’s daughter manipulates the Parks to fire their young driver, they also convince the Parks that the housekeeper is contagiously ill, so Mrs Kim can get her job. The ex-housekeeper begs Mrs Kim to continue to help her husband survive in the bunker, but she refuses, so the ex-housekeeper becames vegeful. Mr Park hates when one of his charges “crosses the line”. The Parks’s ignorant thinking about poverty irritates Mr Kim, and when Mr Park expresses his disgusts at Geun-sae’s smell, this triggers Mr. Kim to stab Park etc.

I think, the OS Goal is something like playing the role of the Parks’s servants, and living together in a compatible way at the same time. It could have been a win-win situation, if the Kims and the ex-housekeeper reach an agreement. The Parks just wanted some competent servants, the Kims wanted financial security, and the ex-houskeeper wanted financial security and security for her husband. I think, it could have been a Success story, if the Kims aren’t so greedy.

The perspective of an unrealistic dreamer, maybe? He had an obsession with the rock, which is meant to promise wealth to whoever possesses it. At the beginning he tells his father he does not think of the forgery as a crime, since he plans to go to the university in the next year. Later he images his wedding to Da-hye (the Parks’s daughter), in which he will have to bring in actors to play his family. In the end he leaves the rock in a river, but he dreams about buying the Park house for himself and reuniting his family. So he remains Steadfast…

I am not totaly sure who is the IC… Maybe the father, Mr. Kim? He says: “You know what plan never fails? No plan at all. If you make a plan, life never works out that way…”.

I’m also unsure about the RS. Maybe an employer-employee relationship?

English isn’t my tongue language, I apologize for my mistakes.

I felt like the beginning of the movie was definitely in Manipulation, for the reasons you give. But then I remembering feeling like that totally stopped.

I toyed with the idea that the Kim family is the MC, in Situation (extreme poverty).

But overall, I felt like it was jumping around. The [Spoiler cover] about the ex-housekeeper seemed like such a dramatic swing that I felt like it was a new movie, with new problems…

Parasite certainly has a GAS and is a powerful one too.

OS - poor achieve social mobility by leeching rich

MC - poor son, determined to improve his family situation by following his plans

IC - fate (unexpected situations) in the form of the ex-housekeeper reveal and flood challenges poor’s pov that their plans will work. poor father seems to be IC but actually he begins to accept new pov while son still makes decisions based on his plans.

RS - between both poor and rich family. rich father-poor father and reiteration of smell. poor son and rich daughter. this relationship drives poor father to lose hope while his son is ready to do whatever it takes.

The son rejecting this new pov and sticking with his plan (kill mad man using rock) is what leads to tragic results, revealing he was wrong. So the climax party is the end of the story.

But what makes Parasite so powerful is Bong doesn’t stop there, and reinforces the tragedy by revealing that the son STILL HASN’T CHANGED and plans to buy the house and return to his father.

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What is unique about the son’s poverty? Isn’t the whole family poor?

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Oh I was just saying poor son to refer to the son in the poor family (Ki-woo)

The same question remains though: what makes him unique and gives him a perspective that is different from everyone else?

If I had to guess it’s that he was the one that wants to be rich. If I remember he has this fantasy of marrying the rich girl. I think the rest of the family just sees it as a scam and way to leech off the rich, but he wants to actually be or become legitimately upper class.


Yeah exactly. His stubbornness in achieving social mobility while his family is just dealing with whatever shit is thrown at them ultimately jeopardizes everyone.

So the message is sort of: the poor’s increasing inability to get what they want widens the class divide?

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I found an interesting video on the topic:

This video analyses Kim Ki-taek’s steadfast character arc in the movie, and compares it to the two character arcs in Sunset Boulevard.

I totally loved this movie. I’m not so sure about the judgment, however. It ends a bit ambiguously and could be seen as Good depending on your interpretation. Also I think the MC could be either the son, or the Kim family as a whole, with the IC being the Park family. Ki-taek changes his methodology, or at least contemplates doing so at the end of the film, in order to save his father and buy the former Park house, so most likely a Change arc. Going off of your response, you mentioned the word “security” a lot, and it got me thinking a case could be made for that being the OS Issue.

Edit: Actually, re-thinking this real quick, the OS Issue may be more like something along the lines of Fantasy, within that same quad. The end sequence of the film is in itself a fantasy, and the idea of a fantasy calls to mind Mr Park’s motto of claiming to always have a plan, only to later reveal he never bothers to have a plan, because that only ensures things won’t go according to it in his experience. I don’t know, but something within that quad of Progress/How Things Are Changing rings true to me!

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I rewatched the movie yesterday, and I come up with an idea for a storyform. It’s maybe completly wrong, but I see some potentiality in it.


I think the OS is Manipulation > Playing a Role > Desire .

Most characters is pretending or playing a role to get something better: Ki-woo and Ki-jung pretended that they are rich university students to get the tutor jobs, Mr Kim and Mrs Kim also lied to get their jobs, Mrs Park prides herself on not being able to do domestic chores, so she acts as the lady of the house, Ki-woo and Da-hye (the daughter of the Parks) pretends that they are just studying together, the housekeeper pretends that she “eat enough food for two persons” to save her husband, the housekeeper’s husband unintentionally plays the role of the ghost to get food from the refrigerator; Da-hye tells Ki-woo that her brother is faking his genius "Da-song stares at the sky, as if struck by inspiration, and that it is all an act. " etc.

I guess the OS Problem maybe Expectation: the Kims manipulates the Parks based on their expectations, and in many cases the characters’s expectations makes problems.


We get the most personal point of view from Ki-woo, so I think he is the MC. I also think his conflict roots in Fixed Attitude: He becomes exceedingly attached to the lucky rock and dreams about an (unrealistically) better life.

Based on my prevoius choices in the OS, his MC Throughline would be:
Impulsive Responses > Confidence > Theory.

Honestly I am less confident in these choices… I think Kim-woo’s basic problem is that he keeps optimisticaly dreaming about unrealistic scenarios until the end, and not able to accept the harsh reality. (Is it accurate as the problem of Theory or not? :confused:)


Based on the previous choices, the IC Thoughline would be: Situation > How Things are Changeing > Security > Problem: Expectation (>> Solution: Determination)

If I ask myself, who has the opposite worldview compared to Kim-woo’s obsession with wealth, I would say the ex-housekeeper and her husband. They aren’t particulary greedy, they just want enough security to stay alive.

On the other hand, Mr. Kim is clearly a Changed character, but I’m unsure about his influece on Kim-woo’s point of view… :thinking: Maybe when he tells his son that “it is best to never have a plan, since plans never work out the way one expects”?

In this case, the housekeeper’s IC problem would be “having low expectations for life” and Mr Kim IC problem would be “having no expectations”.


I also see the RS as the relationships beetwen the poor and the rich family, particularly in Mr Park and Mr Kim’s employer-employee realtionship.

Activity > Doing > Experience > Expectation

Activity: The Kim family is doing varoius jobs for the Park family.

Experience: The Kims are much more experienced with the harsh realties, and much more streetsmart individuals than the Parks, who live a luxurious, but rather easy, superficial life. The Kims think that the Parks’s luck and wealth is unfair.

Expectation: Mr. Park expects from the Kims to behave like skillful, effective workforces, without personal feelings, or opinions. ( He hates when one of his charges crosses the line.) Because Mr Park dehumanising behavior toward the Kims, and the lower class, Mr Kim feels humiliated, and stabs Mr Park in the end.

(PS: Sorry for my grammar!)

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