In Bong Joon-Ho’s Oscar-winning film Parasite, class disparities are telegraphed through aesthetics, architecture, and even the characters’ personal body odors. But one scene in particular deftly illustrates the economic gap between the wealthy Parks and the lower-income Kim family—by way of a humble instant-noodle dish.
The scene in question begins with the Parks leaving for a camping trip, only to turn around and head for home when it starts to rain. On their drive back, Mrs. Park calls her housekeeper, Mrs. Kim, to request that she prepare a bowl of “ram-don” for her young son—and that it be ready by the time they arrive home. Mrs. Kim hangs up and is left wondering what on earth “ram-don” might be. In a frenzy, she throws together two types of instant noodles and some cubed steak and, miraculously, it passes muster.