The much celebrated and multi-award winning Parasite gets a fresh lick of monochrome for a new roll out which gives Bong Joon-ho’s film a more timeless aesthetic to support its thematically rich tale of the silent war amongst the classes. After providing the same treatment to his film Mother, and joining the likes of Mad Max: Fury Road and Logan, there is a debate to be had over whether black and white treatments add all that much to the overall experience, but any excuse to revisit Bong’s latest is something that is very hard to pass up.
The Kim family – made up of father Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho), mother Chung-sook (Jang Hye-Jin, son Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) and daughter Ki-jung (Park So-dam) – live in a semi-basement apartment and struggle to make ends meet, taking on small part time jobs where they can in order to get by. When Ki-woo is offered the chance to teach English to the daughter of the very wealthy Park family, Ki-woo soon devises a way to integrate his whole family into the Park household as other household employees, through not entirely honest means. What could go wrong?
As with all of Bong Joon-ho’s films, the joy in Parasite comes from seeing how he manages to weave in a number of tones into a drama in order to keep up a palpable sense of surprise throughout. Parasite begins as a comedy of manners, before morphing into something else entirely that drives home the ugly reality hiding just beneath the surface of these characters lives. I won’t go into detail here. Yes, it may have been out for weeks now, but I’d hate to be the person that reveals the twists and turns of satire/class struggles drama to someone who has yet to step in the world of Parasite. If diving in for the first time, it is best to go in as clean as possible, but if you’re coming back for the third of tenth time, this black and white version offers a means to see that drama play out in a manner that reinforces the strong thematic backbone of the recent Best Picture winner.
Read the full review over at VultureHound, originally published March 5th 2020.