Is Parasite Based on a True Story? Plot-Twisty Tale of Rich vs. Poor

Is Parasite Based on a True Story? Plot-Twisty Tale of Rich vs. Poor


  • Parasite, a blend of real-life inspiration and gripping fiction, offers a profound commentary on the class divide and societal expectations.
  • Drawing from Bong Joon-ho’s personal tutoring experiences, the film explores wealth inequality and economic struggle in South Korea.
  • Through the intricate lives of the Kims and Parks, Parasite masterfully unravels the complexities of human ambition and societal structure.

Is Parasite Based on a True Story?

In part, yes. The film intertwines Bong Joon-ho’s real-life experiences with fictional elements to craft a narrative that’s as intriguing as it reflects society’s class disparities. The backdrop of Seoul and the dichotomy between the wealthy family and the poor family, represented by the Kims, lays the foundation for a story that blurs the lines between reality and cinema.

Bong Joon-ho’s Real-life Incidents Inspire Parasite

Bong Joon-ho, the visionary South Korean filmmaker, draws upon his experiences in his 20s as a math tutor for a wealthy family in Seoul to inject Parasite with layers of authenticity and realness. This personal connection illuminates the stark wealth inequality in South Korea, a central theme of the movie. Bong’s journey from a math tutor to an acclaimed director showcases his profound understanding of socio-economic divisions, making Parasite a modern cultural critique deeply rooted in the real-life incidents of its creator.

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Parasite’s Basement Dwellers Are Pure Fiction

While Parasite is anchored in Bong Joon-ho’s real-life observations, the story of the Kim family turning into basement dwellers spirals into fiction. This creative leap allows Bong to explore the extremities of wealth inequality and economic immobility in a controlled yet expansive narrative landscape. The film’s fictional elements are a canvas for Bong to paint a vivid picture of societal divisions, enriching the narrative with depth and imagination.

Conception of Parasite: From Idea to Screenplay

The germination of Parasite from a mere idea to a fully fleshed-out screenplay showcases Bong Joon-ho’s mastery of storytelling. Initially envisioned as a stage production, the narrative evolved into a cinematic exploration of the rich-poor divide, highlighted by the intimate yet complex relationships within and between the wealthy Parks and the poor Kims. This evolution from concept to screenplay is a testament to Bong’s dynamic creative process, underpinned by his acute observation of South Korean society.

Developing the Parasite Script: Collaboration and Research

Bong Joon-ho and his co-writer, Han Jin Won, collaborated on the script’s development. Meticulous research, including interviews with personal servants and extensive photography of Seoul’s diverse housing, informed the script’s authenticity. This thorough groundwork laid the foundation for a story that resonates with realness and accuracy, making Parasite a cultural critique that mirrors South Korea’s wealth inequality.

Casting and Character Development in Parasite

The casting process and character development were crucial in bringing Parasite to life. Bong Joon-ho’s decision to cast Song Kang-ho as the Kim family patriarch exemplifies the careful consideration given to align actors with their roles, ensuring an authentic and compelling portrayal. The characters of the Kims and Parks are meticulously crafted to reflect the societal divides and individual complexities, enhancing the narrative’s depth and emotional impact.

Designing the World of Parasite: The Importance of Setting

The setting of Parasite plays a pivotal role in underscoring the film’s themes. The contrasting living conditions of the Kims and Parks serve as a visual metaphor for South Korea’s class divisions. Lee Ha-jun’s meticulous design of these environments not only reflects the characters’ socioeconomic statuses but also adds a layer of symbolism to the narrative, deepening the viewer’s understanding of the story’s thematic undercurrents.

Lighting and Cinematography: Crafting Parasite’s Visual Aesthetic

The lighting and cinematography in Parasite, masterfully executed by Hong Kyung-pyo, play a critical role in establishing the film’s mood and tone. The strategic use of natural and fluorescent lighting accentuates the contrasting worlds of the Kims and Parks, further emphasizing the gulf between the rich and poor. This visual distinction is pivotal in conveying the underlying tensions and dynamics at play, making the film’s aesthetic an integral part of its storytelling.

Music and Editing: The Final Touches to Parasite

The music by Jung Jaeil and the editing by Yang Jinmo are the final touches that elevate Parasite. The score’s intricate compositions and the editing’s precise rhythm complement the narrative’s complexity, enhancing the film’s emotional resonance and thematic depth. Combined with Bong Joon-ho’s direction, these elements culminate in a cinematic experience that is both intellectually stimulating and profoundly moving.

Parasite’s Premiere and Reception: A Global Phenomenon

Since its premiere, Parasite has captivated audiences worldwide and become a global phenomenon. Its universal appeal lies not just in its Palme d’Or win at Cannes but also in its ability to transcend cultural barriers, making a profound statement on human nature, society, and the inequities that pervade both. Parasite’s success is a testament to Bong Joon-ho’s visionary storytelling and the film’s deep engagement with the complexities of modern life.

Parasite Ending Explained

The ending of Parasite offers a stark reflection on economic mobility and class struggle, presenting a double-ending that juxtaposes fantasy with reality. This conclusion forces viewers to confront the bleak realities of economic circumstances and wealth inequality, challenging the notion of upward mobility and leaving a lasting impression of the socioeconomic traps that ensnare individuals and families alike.

My Review of Parasite as a Viewer

As a viewer, Parasite stands out for its ingenious blending of real-life incidents with a compelling narrative that cuts to the core of human experience and social stratification. Bong Joon-ho’s film is not just a movie; it’s a cultural phenomenon that challenges, entertains, and enlightens, making it a masterpiece worthy of its accolades and a beacon for cinematic storytelling.

To learn more about the true stories behind movies and TV series, please search “Story Auth” on Google for answers.


Why Is the Movie Called ‘Parasite’?

Parasite derives its title from the symbiotic relationship between the film’s central families, the Kims and the Parks. This title reflects the mutual dependence and exploitation that blurs the lines of who benefits and who suffers from this interaction, echoing Bong Joon-ho’s exploration of social parasitism amidst South Korea’s wealth inequality.

How Disturbing is Parasite?

Parasite is disturbing not because of its horror elements but because of its unflinching portrayal of the realities of class divide and economic disparity. The film’s strength lies in Bong Joon-ho’s ability to craft a narrative that forces viewers to confront uncomfortable truths about society and inequality, making it profoundly impactful.

What is the Film Parasite Trying to Say?

Parasite delves into the depths of capitalism, class conflict, and social inequality, portraying the desperation and extremes people are driven to by economic immobility. Bong Joon-ho crafts a narrative that questions the ethical boundaries of survival in a competitive society, making a bold statement on the human condition.

Why is Parasite Movie So Famous?

Parasite has garnered fame for its unique blend of genre-bending narrative, suspense, and social commentary while presenting a universally relatable story of class struggle and human aspiration. Its critical and commercial success highlights Bong Joon-ho’s skill in engaging audiences worldwide with a story deeply rooted in Korean culture yet applicable globally.

What is the Point of the Parasite Movie?

The point of Parasite is to expose and critique the deep-seated class disparities within society, showcasing how economic conditions shape human interactions and moral decisions. Through the Kims and Parks, Bong Joon-ho offers a microcosm of society, urging viewers to reflect on the inequalities that pervade our world.

Does the Ending of Parasite Happen?

The ending of Parasite cleverly blurs the lines between hopeful fantasy and harsh reality, reflecting the challenges of achieving economic mobility in today’s world. It serves as a poignant commentary on the dreams and despair of those trapped by socio-economic barriers, leaving viewers pondering the feasibility of such aspirations.

Why Does Mr. Kim Stab Mr. Park?

Mr. Kim’s act of stabbing Mr. Park is a dramatic climax that symbolizes the eruption of pent-up class tensions and personal humiliation. This act is a symbolic breaking point, showcasing the lower class’s desperation and frustration towards the wealthy’s indifference and disdain.

Why Are the Eyes Crossed Out in Parasite?

The crossed-out eyes symbolize society’s blindness to the struggles and humanity of those from different social classes. Bong Joon-ho uses this imagery to highlight the ignorance and disconnect perpetuating inequality and prejudice, underscoring the film’s theme of visibility and recognition.

What Does the Smell Symbolize in Parasite?

In Parasite, the smell becomes a powerful symbol of social division and identity. It represents the indelible mark of poverty that distinguishes the Kims in the eyes of the Parks, serving as a constant reminder of the barriers erected by wealth and status.

What Does the Peach Scene Mean in Parasite?

The peach scene in Parasite symbolizes the cunning and resourcefulness of the Kims as they manipulate the Parks. It’s a testament to their survival tactics within a system that marginalizes them, highlighting the ingenuity and desperation driven by socioeconomic inequality.

What Do the Stairs Represent in Parasite?

The stairs in Parasite represent the social hierarchy and the ascent or descent between different classes. They are a physical manifestation of the struggle to rise above one’s circumstances and the difficult journey downwards into despair, echoing the film’s exploration of class mobility and inequality.

What is He Drinking in Parasite?

In Parasite, the drink symbolizes the luxuries and excesses of the wealthy class, contrasting sharply with the lack experienced by the poor. This element underscores the chasm between the Kims and Parks, emphasizing the disparities in lifestyle and opportunity that define their worlds.

Legends of the Fall Film Details

Release DateMay 30, 2019 (South Korea)
DirectorBong Joon-ho
CastSong Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun
Cho Yeo-Jeong , Choi Woo-Shik
Park So-dam , Jang Hye-jin
Rating8.5/10 IMDb
99% Rotten Tomatoes
97% Metacritic
Runtime132 minutes
Budget₩17.0 billion
(~$15.5 million)
Distributed by:CJ Entertainment
Box office: ₩350 billion
(~$262.7 million)
platform Available OnAmazon prime