Parasite’s black and white version intensifies the gap between the rich and poor


South Korean movie Parasite took the world with storm, winning several Oscars and opening up the world to foreign movies. Director Bong Joon-Ho had us absolutely hooked, directing not only the movie but our emotions as we delved into the world of poverty and inequality. We sit captivated as we witness the gap between rich and poor widen. Bong Joon-Ho did an excellent job puppeteering our emotions, grossing  $257 globally. But the director was yet to be satisfied! Bong hopes that a black and white version will give viewers a different experience, with the actors’ performances enhanced and the characters intensified. 

Parasite, infiltrating a rich family

Parasite follows the Kim family who live in a stink-bug infested, sewer smelling semi-basement apartment in the backstreets of Seoul (basically the toilet of every drunk wants to relieve themselves in). We learn early on in the movie that they are internet savvy, hard working, hustling entrepreneurs who take on day by day hunting stray WiFi and folding pizza boxes, using the street fumigation to kill of their stink-bugs. When the son, Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) gets an opportunity to home-tutor the daughter of the wealthy Park family he of course takes it. Being an opportunist Ki-woo naturally sees an opening for not only him being employed by the rich family, but also his sister- and eventually his entire family. The family quickly hatch out a plan to fill the roles needed by the Parks family, and one by one, without much moral hesitation, they scoop out the competition and penetrate the rich families lives, taking over the roles of tutoring, chauffeuring and housekeeping.

Parasite Black and White Release

A monochrome portrayal

Always having a fascination for the black and white movie arts, Bong decided early on for a second monochromatic version, but not early enough to not meet obstacles, such as filming the scene of the flooding, which required extra consideration having in mind that it would also be viewed in black and white. Bong finished the monochrome edit before the colored, and describing his own viewing he states that his experience differed each time. 

 The first time, it felt like I was watching an old movie, a story from long ago. But the second time, the movie felt more intense; it felt more cruel. If you all watch, you will probably all feel differently.

Stripped from color Bong hopes the audience will get an even deeper connection to the characters, allowing the viewer to experience a different perspective than they previously had, with a bigger contrast between the rich and poor. No complaints here! Parasite is a movie that definitely deserves a re-watch, color or no color, you will find many breadcrumbs that you missed previously. Knowing where the story goes you will naturally pick up on many more clues and enjoy the characters on a whole other level. And stripped from the visual satisfaction that the colored version beautifully mastered, you are bound to experience dialogue and focus on the rich characterization in a different way. 


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I've always had a deep love and fascination for movies, being an especially strong advocate for the weird, foreign, underrated, under-budgeted and unfairly NC17 rated films of our world. Cinesister is the embodiment of this passion (which some might call an obsession).

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