PETALING JAYA – Malaysian movie fans are flocking to cinemas to catch South Korean film Parasite following the movie’s scintillating success at the recent Academy Awards. In fact, many local cinemas are rescreening the film to meet strong demand from movie-goers after Parasite snagged four major awards at the Oscars on Feb 9.
Parasite, which won Best Picture, Best Director, Best International Feature and Best Original Screenplay, has been in the Golden Screen Cinema’s (GSC) Top Five movie chart for the past two weeks.
The Best Picture prize is especially significant as Parasite is the first non-English language movie to win in this category in the ceremony’s 92-year history, other than being the first Asian film to receive the trophy as well.
Since its premiere last year, it had also won other awards, starting with the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival last May.
Directed by Bong Joon-ho, it tells of two families, one poor and one rich, whose lives become intertwined through some believable twists and turns.
Actor and emcee Tan Meng Kheng, 32, caught the film a few days after its historic win.
“Just watched Parasite. Loved loved loved the story and I especially loved the strong theme behind it, ” he posted on social media on Feb 13.”
“I guess no surprise why it won Best Original Screenplay. The actors were also good. Strong performances throughout. So glad I watched it.”
Likewise, Lau Ban Sin and Shu Yoke Kuan, who are in their 50s, were not too convinced about the film when their 23-year-old daughter recommended it to them last year.
“It’s a great movie. The cinematography is fantastic and the storyline is interesting, especially the latter part when things get a little crazy,” the couple said after viewing the film last week.
Parasite was actually quite well received when Malaysian cineplexes first showed it last August.
Last year, GSC only dedicated 29 screens for Parasite, but thanks to renewed interest, it is now using 44 halls across the country for the show.
GSC’s Aurum Theatres (available at The Gardens Mall, KL, and Mid Valley Southkey in Johor Baru) are also showing a special monochrome version of Parasite.
A GSC spokesman said response to the rescreening of Parasite has been overwhelming compared to those of other Oscar-winning movies.
“Parasite has been a little different as the film achieved a significant milestone for Asian cinematic history,” the spokesman said.
A check at GSC Mid Valley in Kuala Lumpur shows there are seven screenings a day for Parasite, compared to one each for 1917 and Joker, both also Oscar-nominated movies.
Jason Teo, director of marketing & business development for mmCineplexes, said the reception to the film is better now compared to when it was released last year.
“I believe Malaysians will generally like Parasite more than, say, 1917. It is easy to watch, and people will be surprised at how well they digest it,” Teo said, adding that the screening will go on as long as there is demand for it.
“We are showing Parasite at two of our biggest venues – Damansara, PJ, and City Square, JB – so that the film could be shown for a longer time, ” he said.