Bong Joon Ho’s Os­car-win­ning thriller Par­a­site mas­ter­fully por­trays the strik­ing dif­fer­ences be­tween the lives of those who have, and those who have not.

Home & Decor (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS -


With four Os­car wins un­der­belt, it’s no sur­prise that ev­ery­body is talk­ing about di­rec­tor Bong Joon Ho’s tragedy slash com­edy thriller Par­a­site. At its core, the highly lauded tale is one that brings to­gether two fam­i­lies from the very op­po­site spec­trums of wealth, show­cas­ing just how play­ers from two very dif­fer­ent worlds can co­hab­i­tate.

Pro­duc­tion De­signer Lee Ha Jun cre­ated mul­ti­ple sets (the Kim man­sion it­self oc­cu­pies four sep­a­rate sets!) un­der the di­rec­tion of Os­car-win­ning di­rec­tor Bong Joon Ho to serve the vis­ual pur­poses of the film. The story is told, not merely from the ac­tors’ stand­point, but also from a vis­ual per­spec­tive; the Park house is all at once lux­u­ri­ous with the un­der­stated el­e­gance so of­ten favoured by the nou­veau riche, whilst the tiny sub-base­ment apart­ment shared by the four strug­gling mem­bers of the Kim fam­ily is pre­dom­i­nantly messy, with an ex­cess of ‘stuff’ as op­posed to the clin­i­cal, clean ab­sence of it.


In con­trast to the green-tinted light­ing that dom­i­nates the com­pact base­ment home of the Kim fam­ily, the lux­u­ri­ously ex­pan­sive abode of the Parks is awash in warm, el­e­gant yel­low light­ing. This dis­tinc­tive light­ing choice serves well to high­light the dif­fer­ent lives led by both the af­flu­ent

Parks and the strug­gling Kims. While yel­low serves to high­light the com­fort­able life­style and sit­u­a­tion af­forded of the for­m­ers’ home, the harsh, un­yield­ing tones of green serve to light up ev­ery im­per­fec­tion within the Kim household, which re­ceives lit­tle to no nat­u­ral light, in the most un­com­fort­able of ways.


In play­ing ‘host’ to the var­ied cast of char­ac­ters in Par­a­site, the sprawl­ing Park man­sion was none­the­less re­quired to be open for the pur­pose of film­ing. Be­cause ‘over­hear­ing’ and ‘eaves­drop­ping’ oc­curs through­out, it was im­por­tant for Pro­duc­tion De­signer Lee Ha Jun to build the spa­ces ac­cord­ingly. Es­sen­tially, the onus was on him to cre­ate a space in which char­ac­ters could live and hide around one an­other, fa­cil­i­tat­ing the thriller-style sto­ry­telling se­quences of the movie in a way that would en­gage the viewer and in­vite them in. This meant that ev­ery­thing had a place, and the small­est de­tail was metic­u­lously and care­fully planned—down to the smells within the Kim’s un­der­ground home!


The Par­a­site team also opted to evoke sta­tus with the gen­er­ous use of art. Korean artist Se­ung-mo Park’s work is shown in the min­i­mal­ist, open liv­ing room of the Parks’ man­sion; made of wire mesh, the piece de­picts a calm, stain­less steel for­est that is per­fectly played off against the lush green grounds, which yet again evoke feel­ings of wealth and a quiet, gen­tle opulence that many can only as­pire to.

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