After director Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” made history at the Oscars, everything related to the critically acclaimed 2019 movie is back in the spotlight. Some of the movie quotes, which had gone viral on the internet after the huge success of the film both at home and abroad, were revisited after the homegrown movie topped the 92nd Oscars on Monday (Seoul time), winning four awards ― best picture, best director, best screenplay and best international feature film.
The latest Parasite-inspired hit among Koreans is a mix of instant noodles, called ‘Jjappaguri’ which was translated as ram-don in the English subtitles of the movie. It is a mixture of two different types of instant noodles ― Chinese-inspired Chapagetti and the spicy local version of Japanese-style udon Neoguri. In Parasite, beef was added to it. The fusion noodle dish serves as a critical device to increase the tension and suspense of the thriller.
On their way back home from the camping trip that was cut short due to torrential rain, Ms. Park, the upper-class mother of the family, asked her housekeeper Ms. Kim to prepare ram-don for her young son and make sure it is ready for him to eat as soon as they arrive at home. Ms. Kim is under pressure as she doesn’t know what it is or how to make it. What’s worse is that she only had eight minutes to do so. With the help of a former housekeeper who was kicked out of her job, Ms. Kim makes things done perfectly in time and heaves a sigh of relief.
The instant noodle combination became a hit after Parasite hit local theaters last year. Hundreds of videos and posts online were made to detail the recipe and some carried out Mukbang shows featuring the dish, one of which hit more than 3.9 million views on Youtube. A cinema-themed cafe “CAFE: MONOCHROME” released a special “Parasite Set” at the beginning of this year which serves a plate of “ram-don” at 1,500 yen ($13.7) to celebrate the film’s winning of the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival. It was supposed to sell the dish until the end of January but extended the period recently.
Critics say the dish prompted curiosity in non-Korean viewers. “One of the examples of showing the power of culture in the film is ‘Jjapaguri’ in ‘Parasite.’ Koreans instantly know what the dish is. But non-Koreans would have no idea, making them more curious about it and Korea’s unique cultural elements including semi-underground living spaces,” Kangnam University professor Kang Yoo-jung said in an interview with KBS, Monday.
“Bong’s detailed and prepared plan and his cinematic know-how of developing strange things into something fresh and shocking made this possible.” Parasite revolves around two economically polarized families ― one is the urban poor living in the run-down neighborhood and the other in the posh wealthy district. The two families, who otherwise would have never met, are drawn together after the son of the poor family takes over his friend’s role as tutor to the rich family’s daughter.
On Tuesday, Parasite’s stunning success made headlines in all Korean media outlets. The front pages of local newspapers were decorated with images of Bong showing his excitement as he received the awards. The nation is celebrating the film’s unprecedented success in Hollywood.
Source: The Korea Times