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…

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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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I guess I “need” to reply to this topic, seeing as I’m traumatized by this movie. I can’t get over the shocking genre swap. But reading the above and running it through Dramatica, I’m going to try my GAS analysis, though the whiplash switch from comedy-of-errors to slasher film makes me wonder if they did something “not quite right”.

Failure/Bad; Change

Goal: Changing One’s Nature
Consequence: Obtaining
Cost: Innermost Desires
Requirements/ OS Benchmark: Playing a Role

The consequence of failure is they Obtain a loss–they succeed in killing the host, which defeats their goal of changing.

I think the MC is a change character–when he gives up the rock to the man (in hopes of giving the success to him instead; and he eventually puts the rock into the river instead of trusting in it), he STARTS depending on his own abilities rather than being a Parasite.

The MC critical flaw is Hope. It’s the big problem of the whole story. When he sees someone who needs hope, he takes the stone to the housekeeper’s husband–leading to a domino effect where Ki-woo has to change.

The MC issue is Delay…he never passes his exam, he says the forged certificate is the one he “will” have in the future. He also is in a hurry for the future to arrive, and it never arrives, or not soon enough.

His “symptom” is avoidance (avoiding his fate) and he is pursuing a new avenue (through parasitic behavior). The MC problem is the host supports his attempts, which ends up with the death of his vision, or “delays” his dream.

The OS goal is changing one’s nature (from poor to rich), continually rationalizing what they are doing–they continually focus on Considering how to better situate themselves to leech off the host family.

This means the IC would be Mr Park–whose expectations (and avoidance of ugly smells) is the final nail in his coffin. Perhaps the Parks do an IC trade-off. But Mr Park represents Hope, or rather represents the hope that the Kims want to aspire to.

RS story is, as said above, a parallel of the Park/Kim families and the Park girl/Kim boy love; also the housekeeper/husband vs Kim family commitment. All of these are compelled by different modes of morality. All attempting to “help” the other against the thing hindering them. But the problem of Support resulted in the death of loved ones–they could not kill off the thing sucking the life out of the relationship, namely the OS complications on the relationships.

Well, that’s my take. If anyone can comment, or share with this reopened topic, I’d appreciate your comments.

With a title like Parasite, it’s no surprise there was death. But the light comedy-turned dark was very disturbing. The only explanation I have is it must be an Asian two-act thing…

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Y’all. It’s absolutely a GAS.

The first thing that seems to be tripping everyone up is the classification of the OS Domain. It’s not Psychology/Manipulation, it’s Physics/Activity.

Yes, the Kim family “manipulates” their way into the home of the rich household during the first half of the film, but look at all the things they DO in order to make that happen: faking documents, planting evidence, collecting information on the family/staff, framing the original housekeeper by triggering her allergic reaction to peaches, all for the sake of what? Obtaining work.

To reiterate, the Story Goal is Obtaining. Granted, what exactly it is they’re trying to obtain morphs a bit over the course of the narrative; it’s not until the midpoint that the full scope of that goal comes into focus during the conversation the Kim family have while the Park family are away camping. The key lines:

Son: “If this became our house …”

Father: “This is our home right now.”

In short: OS Goal: Obtaining the Park’s house as their own.

The second thing that seems to be causing trouble is the classification of the MC. It’s not the son (Ki-woo). It’s the father (Ki-taek). Think about all those lingering shots of the father’s face, or how he is almost always framed in the center of the composition. Notice how often we look at him up close and head on, as opposed to the son (or any of the other characters) whose faces we nearly always see at an angle, in profile, or from a distance. It’s subtle but pervasive: the father’s POV is the anchor point around which the story turns.

Father is the MC in the domain of Mind/Fixed Attitude. His relation to the problem is defined by his mindset. He rolls with the punches, never rising to the bait. What he desires most throughout the film, and what he keeps seeking is emotional connection (subconscious). In doing so, he keeps “crossing the line” emotionally with Mr Park, who does not respect him as an equal and all but refuses to acknowledge Ki-taek’s humanity. It is only when his psychological limit is reached by one final indignity (Mr. Park’s wrinkled nose at Ki-taek’s “smell”) that Ki-taek lashes out and kills Mr. Park.

Son is the IC in Universe/Situation. He is defined primarily by his Rich Girl/Poor Boy style love affair with the Park family’s daughter, Da-hye. This might lead one to suspect that he is in Mind, and that his concern is Subconscious, i.e. the romantic relationship itself. But if you pay attention, nearly every line out of Ki-woo’s mouth relates to the way things are going to be someday. He’s going to go to college someday. He’s going to earn a lot of money someday. The stone he clings to is a “Scholar’s rock–” symbolizing his goal of someday attending university. In other words, he’s concerned with The Future.

Consider his last scene with Da-hye near the end of the movie, when he asks her: “do I fit in here?” (Domain: Universe).

Lastly, the RS Throughline concerns the relationship between father and son, who keep coming back to the topic of what? Developing a plan. (Domain: Psychology/Manipulation).

From the beginning of the film:

Ki-woo: Dad. Don’t think of this as forgery or crime. I’ll go to this university next year.
Ki-Taek: So you’ve got a plan!
Ki-woo: I just printed out the document a bit early.

From later on, after their house has been flooded and they’re sleeping in a gymnasium.

Ki-woo: “What was your plan?”
Ki-taek: “What kind of plan never fails? No plan. That’s why people shouldn’t make plans.”

From the end of the film:

Ki-woo: “Dad, today I made a plan.”

And what is the essence of his plan-- the one his father now has no choice but to place all his hopes in? For Ki-woo to become rich so the house his father has already Obtained can truly Become their family’s home.

So in the end, what to we have?

MC: Change
Outcome: Success
Judgement: Bad

That’s how I see it anyway.