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OP-ED: Parasite Was Good, but Wouldn’t It Be Better If It Were in English?


Photo by Kinocine / CC BY-SA 4.0

In an unprecedented turn of events last week, the South Korean Film, Parasite, won four Oscars. The genre-bending masterpiece was the first non-English movie to win the prestigious best picture award. After hearing so many good things about the film, I finally got to watch it this week. My verdict? The movie was good, but it would have been even better if it were in English. 

While watching Parasite, I couldn’t help but wonder how much better the film could have been if all the actors were white, speaking English and if it took place in rural Texas. The movie touches on grandiose topics such as the Confucius ideal of family, the role of Western capitalism in South Korea, and class inequality. However, much of the story and message of the film was lost because the characters were just speaking gibberish. I understand Bong Joon-ho was being artsy, but I felt like he lost focus on his audience. At times, I even wondered whether he was even thinking about America.

Furthermore, the movie could have benefited from some more star power. For example, Timothee Chalamet or Tom Holland as the main character could have greatly improved the film. In addition to some young stars, bringing back some old talent like Bill Murray to play the father or Scarlett Johansson to play the mother would have been a nice touch. 

Overall, I give the film three stars — lots of potential, but not quite there.