Similarities between Seo Ji Hye’s drama “Red Balloon” and Oscars-winning film “Parasite”
There are details in “Red Balloon” that bear strong resemblance to “Parasite”.
The drama “Red Balloon”, marking the return of Seo Ji Hye in a villain role, has gained much attention lately. Noticeably, the story of “Red Balloon” is somewhat similar to that of “Parasite”, the 2019 hit movie that won “Best Picture” at the Academy Awards.
Life-changing plan for the whole family
“Parasite” depicts the reality of discrimination between the rich and the poor in modern society. The center of the film is Kim Ki Taek’s (Song Kang Ho) poor family who live in a small, cramped house in the semi-basement of an old apartment complex.
The turning point of the Kim family came when the eldest son Ki Woo (Choi Woo Sik) was hired as an English tutor for the daughter of the Park family. Mr. Park (Lee Sun Kyun) is the CEO of a famous technology company. His wife (Cho Yeo Jeong) is a carefree person. Seeing this as an opportunity, Ki Woo began to find a way to help his entire family “infiltrate” the rich family.
Ki Woo brought his sister in as an art tutor for Park’s son. His father was hired as a driver and his mother starts working as a maid. Thus, the whole Kim family was conveniently “living” in the luxury house of the upper class.
“Red Balloon” also revolves around the deadlocked life and the opposition between people in different statuses. The female lead Jo Eun Kang (Seo Ji Hye) comes from a poor background and always has the ambition to one day change her life. Having a close relationship with Go Cha Won (Lee Sang Woo) and Han Ba Da (Hong Soo Hyun) – the son and daughter-in-law of a rich family, Eun Kang receives a lot of trust.
She works like Ba Da’s close assistant, helping her best friend take care of her mother and daughter. Eun Kang also succeeds in helping her sister get hired as an accountant at a rich company, firing the old maid so that her mother could work at this rich family. “Red Balloon” Eun Kang’s route to infiltrate the elite is quite similar to that of Ki Woo in “Parasite”.
“Parasite” has a scene where the Kim family “borrowed” Park’s house to once enjoy a rich life when they went out camping and celebrated their son’s birthday.
However, unfortunately, the Parks suddenly returned earlier than expected due to the stormy weather, so their trip was canceled. And so the Kim family had to find a way to hide in the house so as not to be caught. It was not until the Parks was sleeping that they were able to sneak out.
Another scene in “Red Balloon” that bears a strong resemblance to “Parasite” is when the poor family enjoyed their sweet time at the rich family’s house. In particular, when the Go family went skiing, Eun Kang’s mother invited her husband to visit and enjoy the luxury they could only dream of.
However, the husband later decided to leave before being discovered, dragging along his whining wife. The Go family arrived home at this very moment, so Eun Kang’s parents had no choice but to hide and sneak out. There are minor differences between the two scenes, but the overall atmosphere and writing are starkly similar.
While it is impossible to tell if this similar scene is intentional, the social gap between the rich and the poor was visibly reflected, both in “Red Balloon” and “Parasite”.
Of course, “Parasite” has a shorter runtime, and so did not go into details about this glaring matter. Meanwhile, as a series, “Red Balloon” dug into the difference in finances and desires, as well as many other issues.