You don’t realise how important colour is to story telling until you watch a film that has been presented originally in colour then shown in black and white. I had the wonderful opportunity to see Parasite in black and white at the Glasgow Film Festival 2020. This review is mainly going to focus on what I think being in black and white does to the film. If you want to see my review of the Oscar award winning Parasite click here.
One thing I noticed was the darkness and mainly how the colour black is more striking. The scenes were characters just go into darkness just visually looks more menacing. Especially when they go into the basement you lose those green tones which were present but instead it looks like the characters are descending into a dark place both metaphorically in terms of the direction of the story and literally going into a dark place.
This idea of darkness plays into the ending as the absence of colour makes the ending more bleak due to the fact there is little light just darkness. The visuals being more striking also applies when it comes to the whites. When white is the prominent colour it gives the feeling of hope and happiness.
I think the main advantage of being in black and white is you lose colours which I refer to as dirty colours. These are colours that when you see them, it gives you a feeling of dirt and in terms of this film these colours are mainly worn by people of the lower class.
The simplicity of being in black and white adds a nice layer of story telling whilst the colour version has this, I think it stands out more in the black and white version.
Whist I do not think one version is better than the other, I would recommend watching both the colour and the black and white versions. I think both have unique aspects to them and also the film is just a masterpiece so it gives you a massive reason to rewatch parasite if you’ve only seen it once.
Written By Robert Drever