An ultra-rich backdrop, razor sharp dialogue, and stellar acting is what makes Succession the gold standard for television right now.


Jesse Armstrong’s multiple-Emmy winning series has a deceptively simple premise – the patriarch of media conglomerate Waystar RoyCo is ageing and must choose an heir to his business empire. Thus, the stage is set for an endless game of musical chairs between his children for the throne – power-hungry Kendall, derisive Roman, politically-savvy Shiv and estranged oldest son Connor. Power-struggles, corporate backstabbing and constant plotting ensues between the siblings and a host of well-fleshed out and complicated side characters who form the heart of the show throughout its four-season run.

Succession’s portrayal of the wealthy and influential is both captivating and horrifying. ‘Multi-faceted’ is one way to describe the narcissistic and money-obsessed characters who reek of upper-class privilege and can manipulate the course of the nation as per their whims and fancies. Yet, despite the absolutely vile character arcs, it is impossible not to root for them in their achingly-tender moments of humanity. This is a testament to the masterclass in acting done by the ensemble of actors who deliver the show’s signature sharp and biting dialogue to perfection. There is something revolting yet fascinating in the obscene, and hilariously vulgar lines.

Besides the personal narratives of each character, the show also provides insightful commentary on wider social issues such as influence of media and technology on society, politics, culture, and identity. It calls out the power-mongering and under the table lifestyle of the luxurious. Familial influences and power structures dictate the living of the top 1%. This adds a fresh layer of analysis to the already complex individual storylines, making the show a wonderful mix of satire and insight on capitalism and American corporatism.

Exceptional locations, cinematography, background scores and production value – the hits keep coming. The glorious theme song (this plays in my head 24/7 on repeat) and opening credits hook you in for a wildly funny, tragic and jaw-dropping ride. The music perfectly captures the mood of the show – sinister, dark and greedy but whimsical when need be. Another standout is the work of the costumes department. The lack of ostentatious displays of wealthy but quiet luxury at its finest where a single cap costs millions of dollars is an absolute stroke of genius. The symbols of wealth like the fleet of black SUVs, the helicopters, the elaborate real estate and the constant entourage just add to the sensory delight of the show.

Succession is a much watch for fans of pitch-black comedy and suspense. It is a gift that keeps giving and the fascinating character-driven plot keeps you hooked despite your utter disgust for the characters. After all, the ultimate question remains – who shall be the successor and nab the top job?

Come for the family and corporate intrigue, stay for the absolute finest filmmaking seen in recent times. Be right back, going to make Nicholas Britell’s Succession theme song my new ringtone.

Feature Image Source: Pinterest

Read Also: Film Criticism: Of Subjectivity and Stars

Bhavya Nayak

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How does it feel to see those familiar lawns, walls, canteens and classrooms of your college on silver screens? Perhaps, it is not something new for a Delhi University kid, or is it?

In contemporary times, nothing has been left un-bollywoodised. From ambitious “apna time aayega” (my time will come) posters on the walls of our rooms to those trying-to-be-quirky truck drivers bearing “has mat pagli pyaar ho jaega” (don’t smile or I’ll fall in love with you) at the back of their vehicles to finding equal proportions in meme culture, the Bollywood fever has swept over the entire array. In such a culture, how could premier institutions like Delhi University be left untouched by bolly-baptization?

Heaving with overwhelm, jittering with anxiety not without a truckload of anticipation – this is a common description of any first-year student, especially those who make it to the “coveted” corners of DU. The Bollywood bandwagon has seeped so much into the college culture that even these nervous “facchas” are treated to Bollywood-themed fresher’s parties followed by the onslaught of Instagram reels documenting the whole event.

A scene from the film Fukrey (2013) shot in Miranda House,  Image Credits: Celluloid: The Film Society of Miranda House

Why is the college trope so famous?

There seems to be a sort of symbiotic relationship between college and Bollywood, which has of course, found its nexus in the glamorisation of college life. From college friendships to college romance, the trope of college life has been reproduced to an extent that now it seems oversaturated. Yet, it is one of the most popular genres, earning a bloating box-office collection everytime. From Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) to Rang De Basanti (2006) to 3 Idiots (2009) and more recently Chhichhore (2019), the list goes on. The changing demography of the target audience has allowed film industries to extract their careers out of our nostalgia. We often yearn for the bygone days and certainly, the college years occupy one of our fondest memories. After all, for many of us, college is the time when we experience most of our ‘firsts’ – crushes, heartbreaks, fights, and countless other memorable experiences. And through these films, these eccentricities of college life we get to experience again. 

A scene from the film Half Girlfriend (2017) shot in St. Stephen’s College,   Image Credits: The Times of India

The Politics of “Privileged” Colleges

We all love and undeniably feel a sense of pride seeing the cameo of our colleges in our most cherished films. But why do some DU colleges make it to the screens while some do not? The Hinduite Jordan and the Stephanian Heer became the college Romeo-Juliet romance. The “itni si chutney me do samose khau mai?” (how do I eat two samosas in so little chutney) graffiti on Hindu canteen’s wall from the same film Rockstar, Fukrey in Miranda House, Dil Dosti Etc in Hindu College, DevD and Band Baja Baarat in Hansraj and Half Girlfriend in St. Stephen’s College. The Ananya-Panday-effect of these North Campus colleges is very evident in the Bollywood milieu of nepotism. For filmmakers, shooting in DU mainly means shooting in the North Campus. The number of shoots in North Campus particularly has also increased in the past few years, from 3-4 shoots to 10-12 shoots per year, possibly because of easy permissions. These shoots in North Campus catch the fancy of many students and thus continue to uphold the existing hierarchy of colleges in Delhi University. According to an interview conducted by The Times of India in 2018, Ravi Sarin who was a part of the shooting of the film ‘Mom’ at SRCC said, “It’s the architecture of the colleges of North Campus that attracts filmmakers.” The charming red brick buildings of North Campus colleges are a major attraction to the filmmakers. It provides a sense of historicity to the location, an amalgamation of the new and the old, past and present. 

A scene from the film  Raazi (2018) shot in Miranda House,  Image Credits: The Times of India

The Fallacy of Masti ki Paathshala 

Common expectation told to us by elders and popular media often fosters a fallacy premised upon hopes for better days in college, better life, better opportunities and better friendships. The American threesome of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll is replicated in Bollywood as maal, masti and mohabbat (substance, fun and love). However, this alliteration fails to capture the unglorified realities of DU- hectic timetables, strict professors, boring lectures, stifling competition and everyday metro hustles. Colleges in Bollywood are nothing less than any theme park that has to sustain the assortment of fake paraphernalia of coolness, fun, richness, style and other cliched fancy adjectives. Only if college life was a Dharma Production you can expect to find an SRK-type boyfriend or a hot professor like in Main Hoon Na. In reality, there will be no falling in love with violin playing in the background, wind brushing past the hair and romantic slow-mo moments. Neither, in fact hardly our yaad-karegi-duniya-tera-mera-afsana (the world will remember our story) kind of friendships will permeate our nine-to-five reality. Will we even care for our lost Rancho inhabiting some far-off part of Ladakh after 10 years? In times when everyone seems to be guilty of repeatedly postponing Goa plans until it dies on a vine, it’s a bitter realisation that we all shall be made Arjuns uttering Moshi Moshi to a Japanese client on a road trip to Spain with friends (if at all the trip transcends the precincts of our plannings). 

A dialogue turned meme from the film Rockstar (2011),  Image Credits: Indian Meme Template

Hmm, so we can say, our much loved DU (and colleges in general) have had its own multiplicity of moments – as a main character, as a side-kick, as a decorative prop (like female characters in KJO films), as a misrepresented character (like LGBTQ characters in Bollywood) and sometimes as an anti-hero (like those in Anurag Kashyap’s films). But in everything, maybe DU is our Geet from Jab We Met who does not shy away from claiming “Mai apni favourite hoon”

Feature Image Credits: ScoopWhoop

Read Also: Bollywood Imitates Life and Vice-Versa

Samra Iqbal

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From racism to casteism to patriarchy, Dear White People resonates with any and every person who has faced an instance of systematic oppression, finally a movie with not just a token representation but a real one.

Humanity, as a collective, has consistently shared one thing— the feeling of being different; the feeling of being isolated, alone, and deeply ununderstood. Dear White People ends up striking exactly this chord with every single person in the audience. It holds up a metaphorical mirror to society, forcing us to look around, observe, and realise, that in all our talks of unity and diversity, maybe we have forgotten what unity is supposed to look like.

The movie being largely inspired by film director Justin Simien’s book by the same title, finds a place to showcase its literary roots in the structure of the movie itself. The movie begins with a very storybook-like screen and the words ‘Prologue’ etched onto it. This trend follows throughout as if taking us systematically through the chapters and finally leaving us at the ‘Epilogue’ to mull.

It isn’t a new phenomenon, the feeling of being comfortable with other people belonging to the same backgrounds, regions, histories, and realities. Neither is its manifestation in academia new.

The movie brought forward the historically entrenched power equation between unequals, the groupism that is not just embedded in our public lives but also our private, and the dichotomy of being different— of being too much or too less, just never enough. It grapples with the question of personal choices and stereotypical ones and the struggle of not wanting to subscribe to the prejudiced notion people form of you upon your first meeting. 


Dear White People ended up being more of an explanation about the need for people to find others belonging to the same circles, not because of something that they have seen or been taught, but simply by the reason that others who are the same as you have a considerably less chance of wanting to bully you for your choices, teasing you and your inherent differences, or stereotypically putting you in a box. Following Lionel’s story, the struggle of fitting in was something we could all relate to, but the fact that he was trying while the world was stuck in the ways of decades past, spoke more about that ingrained racism that found its foothold over centuries of oppression and takes more than having “two black friends” to refute.

When Lionel asked “Am I black enough for the Black Student Union?”, when Sam broke down the divisions mentioned in Ebony & Ivy, when ‘Coco’ consistently tried denying her own identity, we ended up seeing shades of different ideas and opinions, with refreshingly the oppressed being a reflection of their own oppression.

Not surprisingly, the arguments used by the “whites”— the most repeated one being that the most difficult thing in today’s world is being a white man— are the same ones that we have seen and heard in real life, on Twitter, and on the streets.

The movie ended up being a brilliant portrayal of reality and more than being solely about racism and its struggles, became a reflection of every other instance of systematic oppression, finally showing a real representation.


Feature Image Credits: Athena Film Festival


Manasvi Kadian

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Addressing the MeToo movements of 2018, the new Netflix original, Guilty, attempts to question our morality but fails to be true and fair. Read the review for a deeper insight.

Portraying college life in a vast variety of forms through Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, 2 States and Wake Up Sid, Karan Johar presents to his audience, yet another such depiction of the same in his latest production, Guilty, directed by Ruchi Narain. Guilty is a Netflix original based in the prime student-hub of the country, the Delhi University, aiming to address the significance and relevance of the #MeToo movement that began in India in late 2018. Including elements of slut shaming, class differences, political influence, mental disorders and many more, Guilty attempts to cover a case of rape accusation in its most complicated nature, honestly defining the idiom – too many cooks spoil the broth.

The movie stars Kiara Advani and Akanksha Ranjan as two widely distinct girls from the same college, St. Martin’s. Advani’s character, Nanki Dutta, is the typical “rebel without a cause”, covered with tattoos and hair colours, fond of Faiz and Kafka, who is also the lyricist for the college band. She is dating the lead singer and college heartthrob, VJ (Gurfateh Singh Pirzada). Tanu Kumar (Ranjan) on the other hand is a small-town girl with a local accent. She is introduced in the movie as she recites a monologue from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, while presenting an errotic act in front of the boys from the band, with Nanki observing the same as an audience. The two characters are at odds with each other from the very beginning because of Tanu’s overt absorption in VJ. Tanu is also portrayed as someone who’d try to play the victim in all possible situations and in a sense, could be tagged an “attention seeker”.

The movie focuses on the rape accusation made by Tanu against VJ, a year after the incident, amidst the MeToo movement that had awoken in the country. The case is investigated by Danish (Taher Shabbir) who is a lawyer, preparing witnesses for VJ’s case. Danish acts as the neutral eye observing and questioning everything and everyone related to the case (though I wonder why the writers chose to assign this role to a lawyer fighting for one party, instead of a police officer, perhaps?). Danish seems to be constantly at war with his thoughts, trying to understand this game of he-said-she-said. He finds a crucial piece of this puzzle in Nanki, the witness who wasn’t even present. His conversations with her unfurl the story further, bringing forth hidden facts and secrets within the gang.

Guilty makes us constantly question our mental conditioning, proving the existence of prejudices ingrained in our brains. It addresses common questions like, “why would I rape someone if I have a girlfriend”, “why was she quiet for a year”, “she was asking for it” and more making it nearly impossible to empathise with Tanu. However, what disappoints me in this movie is the fact that, as an audience, I couldn’t really empathise with any of the characters. The movie unfolds so many complications that, somewhere down the line, the writer seems to relegate the significance of the primary agenda, weakening the moral impact by the end.

This brings me to the even more disappointing ending scene, which is both highly unrealistic and annoyingly cringe-worthy. The movie had followed a fairly genuine representation of the life of a student at the Delhi University with the intoxicating culture at college fests, internal competitiveness, the “woke” gang and particularly, “tere bhai ke sath scene ho gaya hai” (our friend is in trouble). As a DU student myself, I certainly enjoyed the first half of the movie as I could relate to most of it. However, by the end of it, reality comes to a halt and moral lectures are shoved down the audience’s throat in the most obvious way possible. It seemed like lazy writing, with the writers creating an easy way out.

The end credits, on the other hand, was a creative artistic expression and moral summary of the film, backed by the song “Kahun” written and composed by the song director of the film, Ankur Tewari. The song is a beautiful call out towards all those who silence the voices of the victims and encourages the latter to speak up. Personally, the outro was my favourite part of the whole film, without which the movie appears incomplete.

Guilty, for me, seemed like a movie with a good concept, decent execution but disappointing impact. In today’s date, where we’re aware that the rate of crime against women hasn’t gone down over the years, it is essential for mass media platforms to be intricately careful with what they present on screens to their massive audience, and ensure they do not impart the wrong message. Guilty, with its screening platform being Netflix, and its audience being our generation, had the perfect opportunity to do greater justice to the MeToo movement, which in my opinion, it failed to do.

Feature Image Credits: IMDB

Aditi Gutgutia

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Locke and keys, the latest web series is another addition to the thriller and mystery category by Netflix. The American supernatural horror drama is based on the comic book series Locke and Keys written by Gabriel Rodriguez and Joe Hill.

Spoiler Alert!

The story revolves around a mysterious and spooky house, the key house which is filled with magical keys and their key holes. The series begins with a misshaping when a person after receiving a phone call of a women commits suicide by stabbing himself, not with a dagger but with a magical key, which burns the interior of his body. The entire mystery behind the dreaded incident is disclosed gradually with the progression of the plot.

The intriguing beginning proves successful in filling the audience with curiosity and makes it unable for them to leave their watching seats. Two teenagers, Kinsy and Tyler along with their six year old brother, Bodey come out as the three central characters in the show. The intellect and the extraordinary problem solving efficiency of the six year old boy is questionable with respect to his age. In an age where an ordinary kid is unaware of the realities of the world, Bodey comes out as a co-life saviour of his family.

The story is a perfect plot for the people taking pleasure in watching magical, fantasy and supernatural related stuff. The three central characters along with their mother, Nina move to the key house after Nina’s husband (Rendel) gets murdered in their previous home. The ten episode long series in its every episode, like every other suspense filled Netflix series discloses one mystery while creating another for the next episode.

One thing which remains consistent in almost every episode is the discovery of a new key. Starting from the miraculous ‘anywhere key’ which if put in a door and opened leads you to the place you thought about in your head, to the ‘identity key’, revealed in the last episode which changes the identity of a person, irrespective of their gender.

Overall the first season of this new venture by Netflix is a good combination of mystery and thrill, which sees success in even touching the emotional corners of the heart. The family bonding and mutual support for each other in the times of distress, along with Bodey’s childish innocence moves the audience and leaves them with a deep excitement for the next season.

Feature Image credits: IMDb

Kriti Gupta

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Read the analysis of a powerful dystopian web series, The Handmaid’s Tale, to compare the contemporary authoritarian times with ones highlighted in the web series. 

The Handmaid’s Tale is an American dystopian web series based on Margaret Atwood’s novel. It revolves around the theocratic government of Gilead, where women have no purpose other than bearing off-springs, and men are the ones with all the authority. 

The makers of the show have released three seasons as of now, and these revolve around the lives of the ruling elite of Gilead. The authoritarian government of Gilead views fertile women as mere natal slaves who are allowed to play limited roles. These women, called the Handmaids, are assigned to the homes of the ruling elite and are subjected to ritualized rape which is called ‘the ceremony.’

The ritual is a monthly practice that continues until the handmaid conceives. After conceiving, the handmaid is treated fairly nicely by everyone to make sure that the handmaid does not escape with the child. If they fail to submit to their masters, handmaids are severely punished. The punishment for reading for women is a chopped-off finger.

The civil war in the United States resulted in the establishment of Gilead. Homosexuals, old, and handicapped women are sent away to work at sites with high nuclear radiations, which slowly kills them. The Marthas are cooks and housekeepers, just with one duty, and that is caring for the homes of the elite. Girls are forced to marry older men at a very young age. There are heavy restrictions on what the people of Gilead can wear.

The plot of the show is extremely compelling, and consists of a cliffhanger at the end of each episode. The protagonist of the show, June Osborn, is captured while trying to escape to Canadaand is assigned to the Waterford family as a handmaid.

The entirety of the show thrives on the emotions of gloominess, suffering, and faint hope. For most offenses, the punishment is death by hanging in public. The government is extreme in every action it takes.

Tejasvi, a student of Lady Shri Ram College says, “The show is so engaging, it almost feels like we are living this reality. The plot is unique and keeps you at the edge of your seat the entire time.”

Feature image credits- Glamour

Suhani Malhotra

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Political allegories is that art, of which George Orwell is a deemed artist. Here is a vignette of his work in association with the modern day political discourse. 

It’s on rather sad accounts that Orwellian literature has withstood the notion of ‘change is constant’ and still continues to appropriate the political scenarios of today. With his notable works of fiction, and non fiction, Eric Arthur Blair under the pen name of George Orwell, authored classics like Animal Farm, 1984, etc.which still reverberates his relevance in contemporary times.

The narrative of using relatively passive, uneducated, gullible, and vulnerable ‘Comrades’ being furthered as pawns to unify under the garb of love for the nation, is one the basics of Animal Farm used only to supposedly overthrow the common enemy; human kind sans the kind.

This pattern has a complex resemblance with what we see in modern day India. People are duped into buying the agenda of what in true sense the love for nation is, and end up hurting their own kind because the line of demarcation of what constitutes as an enemy or not, either fades or obliterates.

A teenager from Uttar Pradesh fires a shot in Jamia Millia Islamia whilst saying, “Yeh lo azadi! (Here is your freedom!)” clearly under the influence of the so called ‘political leaders’ who spit venom of hate speeches to communalise every issue in the name of some glorified dream of India which they deem to be truer from what a secular India is.

The decisions of the supreme leader are taken as Gospel. Boxer: the horse, who lived by the maxim of ‘I will work harder’ and ‘Napoleon is always right,’ was sold, in exchange of alcohol by the leaders upon being old and injured. This just reinforces the fact that tyrant leaders will make use of people to accord to their own whims and interests, with the defence that their interests somehow coincide with that of the nation.

This notion brings us to take notes from Orwell’s notes on Nationalism. He attempts to create distinction between patriotism and nationalism where the former is a ‘devotion’ to a particular way of life which one considers to be supreme, but doesn’t force on others whilst the latter is what he categorises as ‘defensive’ and inseparable from desire of power. Alike ‘Animalism,’ ‘Nationalism’ too is used as a tool, to synchronise the mass and take them for a fool.

Squealer’s role of a propagandist is headed by media not only in India, but around the globe. Concealing the economic troubles until they became quite prevalent that the Government had to acknowledge it, resembles when food shortage was denied by Napoleon but later accepted. The bells ring quite loud when every fault is associated with Snowball just like it’s done to Pakistan.

In the dystopian world of totalitarianism of 1984 the discouragement escalates from ‘thoughtcrime’ where as much as if you think of going against Big Brother, you’ll be relinquished. A world where rebellious thoughts are illegal, not just inOceania but modern day China where Internet is censored, Islamic monarch Saudi Arabia where journalists like Jamal Kashogi are murdered and North Korea where one party republic rules, to name a few.

Altering of historical records and manipulation of facts and data is as rampant in today’s political scenario as it was done in Orwell’s novella. The discourse is set in such a way that it’s natural propensity and not deliberate strategy to add clauses to alter the seven commencements.
‘Orwellian’ is an adjective describing a situation, idea, or societal condition that George Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of a free and open society. Political doublespeak is criticised throughout his works. Perhaps, the fact that we still have modified and novel versions of Stalin, Josip Tito, Mao Tse-tung, Pol Pot, Augusto Pinochet, and Slobodan breathing, leading and deceiving on similar lines, of “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” its of great misfortune that Orwellian literature still stands relevant!

Feature Image Credits: Historyme

Umaima Khanam

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Sex Education, a comedy-drama series, came out with its second season on the 17th of January, 2020, on Netflix. The new season has shed light upon topics that parents prefer not to talk about with their children.

The show essentially revolves around the life of a teenager, Otis, who goes on to follow the footsteps of his mother, who is a sex therapist. From the partial knowledge he gained from her, Otis starts an underground sex therapy business with Maeve in school. Otis, being a teenager himself, gives ‘expert’ advice to other curious students who are on a quest to explore their sexual identities.

The series became a widely watched show in about no time because the producers have touched upon those issues that people shy away from. Along with the development in its plot, the new season went on to use humour and love to carefully bring forth these issues for the audience.

Sex Education has played a huge role in normalizing homosexuality, bisexuality, pansexuality and asexuality as well. The show may be about a boy but the girls are the ones who stand out. Also, another topic that has been addressed here is unwanted sexual contact. Aimee, a friend of Maeve, gets sexually assaulted on the bus while on her way to school. Aimee, after the incident, gets highly disturbed and refuses to board the bus until Maeve, Lily, Ola, and Olivia decide to accompany her.

The writers of the show also expressed the significance of consent through a few glimpses. By taking the example of Maeve and her mother, the show also took a turn and focused on faulty parenting. Jackson, an extraordinary swimmer, embarks on a new journey to discover where his interests truly lie, after experiencing poor mental health and indulging in self-harm.

Aditi Gutgutia, a student of Lady Shri Ram College, said, “Season 2 had fallen more towards a cliché high school drama and was highly predictable, which was somehow disappointing, but on the other hand, the added depth to some of the characters was admirable.”

The addressed issues in the show needed to be brought forth because they are often overlooked by the people. The writers have done a fairly commendable job by tackling these issues with love.

Image credits- Newsweek

Suhani Malhotra

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Though Bong Joon-Ho’s Korean cinematic masterpiece may have broken the glass ceiling of the Oscars with its nominations, it becomes important for another reason too- its acknowledgment of the class divide in the Asian community, and the reality of the rich and successful. 

Note: Spoilers below. Proceed with caution.

Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite is making headlines with its numerous nominations at the Oscars, with the buzz of it becoming the first non-English language film to win the best picture. It’s perhaps hilariously ironic that Parasite is breaking the glass ceiling of the ‘White Academy Awards’ because it so beautifully weaves together a cinematic of just not ever breaking the glass ceiling of the wealth divide and the idea of an upstairs-downstairs life. 

Perhaps an upstairs-downstairs life is what Parasite showcases the best- the very existence of the ‘semi-basement’ in which the Kims live in suggests a feeling of denial that the poor man often feels; “it’s a semi-basement after all, and not a basement” as though the house exists in state of middle, being under the ground but not believing that it is. It reflects a feeling that everyone who is trying to make it big but doesn’t have the means to has: hope. 

The story opens with the Kim family hunting for WiFi while they fold pizza boxes, and letting the street fumigation disinfect their house from pests. None of them is employed, until the son, Kiwoo, bags a job at the Park residence tutoring their daughter. The Parks are the opposite of the Kim family- where the Kims live in a semi-basement apartment, the Parks have a huge, two-storey house with a garden. Their house represents what they are- over the ground, rich and successful- just like the Kims’ house represents what they are. The film proceeds with a montage of the Kim family taking over the Parks- Ki-Jung, the Kims’ daughter, becomes an art therapist to the Parks’ son, Chung-sook, the mother, becomes the housekeeper after they get rid of the Parks’ precious employee, and the father, Ki-Taek, becomes the Parks’ driver. It becomes a strange tug of war to feel bad for the Parks as the movie proceeds because the actions of the Kims are just that relatable, the Parks’ are just that ridiculously rich, and it is here that the question arises- what is a poor man exploiting a rich man exploiting a poor man? 


Later in the movie, it is revealed that the Parks’ home has a secret basement, and the Parks’ precious housekeeper, Mun-Kwang had been keeping her husband there secretly. It is here in the scene where Mun-Kwang begs the Kim mother to let her husband stay there and to help them out because they’re their “neighbours in need”, where you see the denial of the Kims at accepting that they’re the same as Mun-Kwang and her husband. Both the families are leeching off the Parks, and yet in two different ways. 

And yet still, this leeching is something that we’re sympathetic with because, throughout the entirety of the movie, we have seen Parks and their contribution to the class divide. It is in the way that Mr. Park thinks the Kim father smells- stinks– a certain way, the way all working-class people who take the subway smell. This distaste of Mr. Park is pointed out in various scenes with he acts towards the Kim father, and after he tells his wife of this ‘smell’, she also plugs her nose at him. This divide is seen in the way the two families interpreted the rains in the city- what devastated the Kims apartment and brought them and hundreds of other poor people out into the streets were showers to clear the sky for the Parks. Mr. Park doesn’t even let Mr. Kim feel upset about the devastating loss of all his belongings- to him, Mr. Kim should revel in the finery and celebrations of his son’s birthday, simply because he’s being paid. 

The party scene of the movie is important for very many reasons. The first is the death of Ki-Jung, Kim’s daughter who gets stabbed by Mun-Kwang’s husband. While she’s stabbed, the Parks’ young son gets traumatised and has a seizure, and all of the Parks’ friends run away. They all have big cars, and yet Mr. Park demands only Mr. Kim, whose daughter is bleeding to death in his arms, to give up the car keys and drive his son to the hospital. One may argue that it’s because he simply does not know that Ki-Jung is Mr. Kim’s daughter. But one has to wonder why it is the servant who gets the responsibility of driving the Parks during the emergency while their friends run away and another person lays dying in front of them. This scene is important also because of Mr. Park’s reaction to Mun-Kwang’s dead husband; while Mr. Park’s son is in pain due to his seizures and two people dead in front of him, his only concern while fishing out the key from under the dead body is the layman’s ‘smell’, which is perhaps why we’re not as horrified to see him die later. 

The penultimate shot of Parasite after Ki-woo vows to make enough money to buy the Park mansion and free his dad who is hiding in the secret basement is of Ki-woo hugging his father, as they stand in the garden, perhaps a symbolism of them finally being above ground, rich and successful. But then the movie ends with the camera panning down to the semi-basement where Ki-woo is still writing the letter. This ending is symbolic- everyone knows what the reality is. What Ki-woo wants will never happen, and it is in the end that we realise the real parasite was never the poor leeching off of the rich.

It was the hope leeching off of the poor. 

Featured Image Credits: IMDb

Shreya Juyal
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Read our correspondent’s opinion on the book Fangirl. 

Fangirl is a coming–of–age story of two twins who grew up in the world of online fandoms. The protagonist, Cath, assisted by her twin Wren is one of the most successful fanfiction authors on the web based off of their favourite books. Wren and Cath had done everything together, owing to the absence of their mother in their lives growing up, until now. Moving out to university in Nebraska, Wren does not wish to be roommates with her twin and the decision proves difficult for Cath who has evolved into an introvert, being overly attached to Wren- her best friend and only link to a social life. Now being separated from her only source of comfort, Cath must face the life of a freshman in university, dealing with anxiety, a rude, eccentric roommate and hyperactive Levi, the guy who just won’t leave her alone.

Every chapter begins with excerpts from not only Cath’s fan fiction but also the “canons” from the Simon Snow books, which she is so intricately and deeply in love with. Through her writing, Cath can express things she can’t in real life, where she’s extremely reclusive and socially inept. Wren was the only one able to link with Cath and her parallel realities, but now she seems uncaring in her own party-life. Shaken, Cath finds solace in the company of Levi, and the emergency dance parties with him.

More than anything, the book proves to be extremely relatable. An easy, laidback yet creative and funny writing style aptly complements the fresh narrative layered with empathy, emotion and understanding.  

I’d wave my hands around and make noises to make everyone read this absolutely delightful yet a book that makes you think. It made all the emotional goosebumps and the teary-eyed reading and the big sighs happen for me as a reader. I so identified with Cath, with her determination, her directness and her fear of being a part of a world which was far from reality but brought her peace and ease when nothing else could.

So, fan-people, grab your copies today and let’s get that emergency dance party going.

 “Cath felt like she was swimming in words. Drowning in them, sometimes.”

– Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl


Feature Image Credits: Thoughts of a Bibliophile

Bhavya Pandey

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