Parasite’s ending makes it one of many all-time nice lonely films

Parasite’s ending makes it one of the all-time great lonely movies

When Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite made Oscar historical past as the primary non-English language movie to win Best Picture, it felt like a victory for the cinephiles who made the movie a important darling and a shock arthouse hit. After a protracted theatrical run that constructed in depth phrase of mouth, Parasite is streaming solely on Hulu. Which means it’s going out to thousands and thousands of viewers who will be capable to be a part of the dialog about Parasite’s masterful ending — the definition of a film conclusion that may’t be summed up as a “happy ending” or a “sad ending.” Instead, it’s a lonely ending.

[Ed. notice: Significant spoilers forward for Parasite, and for the films Moonlight and Drive.]

In Parasite’s climax, the Kim household — father Ki-taek, mom Chung-sook, daughter Ki-jeong, and son Ki-woo — attend a home social gathering for the younger son of their employers, the Park household. The occasion shortly goes south, breaking down right into a vivid illustration of sophistication warfare. The photographs that comply with launch the viewers from the movie’s persistently mounting rigidity, however go away some characters useless, and others to mourn. In the aftermath, Ki-woo recovers, offers together with his grief, and copes with the authorities who’re nonetheless looking for solutions about what occurred that day.

The viewers is aware of what Ki-woo quickly finds out. Ki-taek fled the social gathering for the one logical place he might go — the hidden bunker within the Park household home. From there, he makes use of Morse code to ship a letter to his son, although he by no means is aware of whether or not Ki-woo has seen it. In the movie’s last scene, Ki-woo responds to his father in a letter that performs out extra as fantasy than actuality. It’s his dreamy declaration of the capitalistic dream — he imagines himself going to high school, making some huge cash, and shopping for the Park home so he can free his father.

Parasite’s final scene acts like a breakup with the viewers. The occasions all through the movie assemble a relationship with the viewers: we be taught concerning the characters over time, and construct an empathy for them, an emotionally intimate connection. When Ki-woo appears up from his letter on the finish, and tells his absent father, “So long,” his pang of loneliness resonates completely with the viewers, who’re being launched from his firm in the identical approach.

The probably end result of the story: Ki-woo by no means attains his purpose, and his father lives out the remainder of his days in that bunker. It’s a picture-perfect final scene to shut out a gut-wrenching, masterful piece of cinema. Parasite’s ending works seamlessly with the occasions endured by its solid and the viewers. When Ki-woo’s reads his letter to his father, it’s clear what’s coming: the top of the connection the movie has constructed, and a last farewell to a narrative that’s been resolved thematically, however nonetheless left open-ended.

Parasite’s Park So-dam stands at the bottom of a staircase, soaking wet and with her hair curling around her face, as her brother stands behind her, hand over his mouth in shock.

Photo: Neon

There are different films with goodbyes as poignant because the one Bong crafts in Parasite. In Nicolas Winding Refn’s movie Drive, Ryan Gosling performs the function of the mysterious Driver, an knowledgeable getaway driver doubling as a stuntman by day. He will get caught up within the hassle surrounding his neighbor Irene, her son Benicio, and her husband, who owes the mob $40,000 he can’t pay. Out of sympathy to Irene, Driver affords to assist, however after the state of affairs is resolved, he isn’t ready to stick with her and proceed constructing their relationship. The last scene depicts him driving into the night time, with the faintest trace of tears welling up in his eyes. The Driver is neither good nor dangerous, impartial nor noteworthy; he’s simply passing by means of. Refn affords a romantically tinged scene of unrequited love. The film isn’t concerning the crimes dedicated, it’s concerning the fleeting connection between Driver and Irene, and what they may have had collectively. The movie’s last scene is about letting that risk go, leaving each of them lonely, and conveying their loneliness on to the viewers as effectively.

2016’s Best Picture Oscar-winner, Berry Jenkins’ Moonlight, positions its final scene in an identical approach. The story main as much as it does the emotional heavy lifting, so the final scene is only a reminder that brings all of it again house. The movie chronicles three phases within the lifetime of its central character, Chiron, from being a shy, withdrawn youngster mentored by a sympathetic drug supplier to changing into a supplier himself, full with a troublesome, street-smart exterior. Moonlight’s final scene is as dreamy as Drive’s. A flashback reveals Chiron as a child on the seashore, draped in moonlight. He turns and faces the digital camera, a flicker in his eye. He’s constructed up a persona that’s let him survive abuse, poisonous masculinity, and trauma, and he’s led an emotionally repressed life, however the movie culminates with him re-connecting together with his old flame. And the ultimate moments are a reminder that Chiron’s youth and innocence haven’t been misplaced, simply hidden, and ready for a secure second to emerge. It’s bittersweet, however nonetheless lonely, as a result of it’s a second the place the door closes on the movie’s world, simply as that world was beginning to open up into one thing heat and comforting.

It’s normally assumed {that a} movie’s ending has to comply with the emotional binary of pleased or unhappy. But not each ending matches in such neat little packages. And limiting our dialog about endings to at least one aspect or the opposite dampens the emotional complexity of our cinematic experiences. Parasite’s ending, very like Drive’s or Moonlight’s, conjures up the important loneliness that their characters are enduring, and leaves the viewers to take a seat with these emotions. And within the course of, they categorical the emotional energy of loneliness itself. Especially now, amid social distancing and the coronavirus pandemic, many individuals are fighting these emotions. Films like Parasite really feel cathartic within the second as a result of they’re a reminder that even after we really feel most alone, we’re sharing that feeling with different folks. Even the loneliest folks aren’t experiencing one thing distinctive — of their isolation, they’re connecting with different folks feeling the identical factor.

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