Parasite presents the tragedy of poor working class people in Korea in a kind of humorous way. The movie doesn't shy away from displaying this tragedy in detail about how this family of 4 lives, despite being skilled has to con their way into money. How the rich people treat these poor people etc.

But despite all this, the movie ends with a sort of a "happy ending".

Despite having his head bashed in repeatedly with a stone and profusely bleeding, Kevin survives, recovers, gets a job, becomes rich and buys the same house and rescues his father.

Kim Ki-taek, despite murdering Mr. Park andhiding in the basement of the house to live out his days alone, gets rescued by his son.

Chung-sook, despite murdering the previous housekeeper and having to live out her life alone andpoor (assuming Kevin dies from the incident), gets to live in the house and watch the sunrise over the lawn.

Only Jessica is the one to die from her wounds.

So, the question is, why did the director choose such a happy ending for the Kim family instead of a realistic and brutal one?

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    The happy ending is his imagination.
    – Yu Zhang
    Apr 24, 2020 at 11:36
  • I wasn't sure the title was really a spoiler to be honest - but just to be on the safe side.
    – iandotkelly
    Apr 24, 2020 at 15:35

3 Answers 3


Like the comment said, the happy ending is in his imagination. You can read this in an interview with Bong Joon Ho here.

“Maybe if the movie ended where they hug and fades out, the audience can imagine, ‘Oh, it’s impossible to buy that house,’ but the camera goes down to that half-basement,” he says. “It’s quite cruel and sad, but I thought it was being real and honest with the audience. You know and I know — we all know that this kid isn’t going to be able to buy that house. I just felt that frankness was right for the film, even though it’s sad.”

Ultimately, the ending communicated the same message the movie did throughout, that poverty is structural. The happy ending was a shared fantasy of the boy and society/the audience.


As others said, the ending and the Morse-code message from his father are all in Ki-woo's fantasy. What caught my attention was the "message from his father". It's way too long! It's a whole story! Morse code takes a long time to send, even a few short sentences. And his father wouldn't be sure that anyone could see it or even recognize that it was Morse code. So his father would not have tapped out a story that took several minutes for Ki-woo to even say aloud. His father would have tapped out "I'm in the basement" or something simple like that.

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    I thought the morse-code message section was real. He kept on typing out the Morse code on a regular basis, hoping that a family member would eventually see it. This message was what caused Ki-woo to fantasize about buying the house. The movie had sped up Ki-woo documentating the Morse code.
    – MBorg
    Apr 27, 2020 at 12:23

The ending of the movie is left for interpretations.The ending seems to be happy, but in reality it is not!

Those ending scenes are just what goes inside Kevin's head. Probably he will not be able to buy that house in his lifetime and probably as a family they won't be able to spend any more happy times together. So, he is bidding goodbye to his father and good old times in his fantasy.

When Ki-woo’s reads his letter to his father, it’s clear what’s coming: the end of the relationship the film has built, and a final farewell to a story that’s been resolved thematically, but still left open-ended.

Parasite Ending

Which brings us to a second point, which is, Kim Ki Taek isn't coming out of his hiding place ever. Kevin is also staying in their present home with poor income level and probably with their con work.

The director probably wants to impart that

The fantasy of upward economic mobility is Ki-woo’s fantasy. If it was as simple as just getting rich and buying that house, why would he have been living in a slum in the first place? It’s a nice thought that he could become rich and buy the house to free his father and they’d all live happily ever after, but that’s never going to happen. We’re all trapped where we are.


And third one maybe a possibility that even if someone doesn't want to see the reality of the society,he can end up with hope that things will turn out to be better for Kevin and his family as hope is the thing that keeps people going.

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