Op-Ed: As a 30-Year Old Man Who Lives in His Parents’ Basement, Parasite Really Spoke to Me

Caution: This article contains spoilers about the film. If you have the time to read Flipside but not watch this year’s Academy Best Picture, we thank you for your priorities…

Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite made waves recently at the Oscars when it won Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Foreign Language Film, and Best Director for Bong Joon-ho. After hearing such immense praise for the movie, I knew that I had to give it a watch, even though I had no clue what to expect. Needless to say, the movie was fantastic and inspiring, especially for me, a thirty-year-old man who lives in his parents’ basement.

From the very moment I pressed play on the two-day DirecTV rental I purchased with my father’s credit card, I could tell I was watching a groundbreaking film. Finally, I spoke aloud to myself, a movie normalizing living in basements and presenting it not as a mark of failure, but as an alternative and respectable lifestyle choice.

Long had I desired to see people like me represented in a positive light in the film industry, and now before my eyes were the members of the Kim family, basement-dwelling protagonists just trying to go about their own business, perfectly happy in their current state. I must admit that I was concerned when the characters got jobs working for the rich Park family, as it seemed unlikely that someone like me would want to have a job. These concerns did not last long, however; I was absolutely elated when it was later revealed that a handsome, well-adjusted man was living in the Parks’ basement. At last, representation (and he knows Morse code just like me)!

The rest of the movie was a little strange, and I’m not quite sure how the ending related to the movie’s main theme that sublevel-living was acceptable, but I wasn’t too bothered. I’ve read other film critics reviews spouting out nonsense about how the movie was a masterful display of how capitalism pits societal classes against each other, but I don’t believe this was really the major point of the film. I understood Bong Joon-ho’s message that middle-aged people who live in their parents’ basement should get the same respect as everyone else. Here’s to hoping that this concept doesn’t get lost in translation. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Mom made chicken nuggets for dinner.

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