THE END­ING

Empire (UK) - - ON SCREEN -

John Nu­gent: Af­ter be­ing so slyly funny for most of the film, Par­a­site’s epi­logue is strik­ingly melan­choly: a mon­tage that wraps things up with grief and re­gret. Kim Ki-woo wraps things up in voiceover, which we even­tu­ally re­alise is a let­ter to his fa­ther, de­liv­ered via morse code to his un­der­ground hide­out. It’s the very fi­nal two scenes which are most as­ton­ish­ing, though: Ki-woo, fi­nally earn­ing enough money to buy the old Park home and re­unite with his fa­ther as a gen­tle sun trick­les in — and then the re­veal that this is, for now, only an un­likely am­bi­tion. (The film’s orig­i­nal ti­tle was ‘564 Years’, the amount of time Bong es­ti­mated it would take Ki-woo to buy the house.) It’s an ex­tra­or­di­nary, bit­ter­sweet way to fin­ish up: al­low­ing the char­ac­ters a re­solve that even af­ter ev­ery­thing, we feel they de­serve, and an ac­knowl­edg­ment that, with stag­nant eco­nomic mo­bil­ity, re­al­ity is rarely so kind.

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