Storytelling school

6 Movies Where Color Schemes Became an Intrinsic Storytelling Tool

Sometimes color tells stories better than dialogue ever can—Mr. Night Shyamalan used red in The sixth sense to represent a bond with the dead and foreshadow ghostly events, Quentin Tarantino chose yellow to bring out the character of Uma Thurman and portray her madness, Wes Anderson, a lover of discord, frequently depicts unfortunate events in happy hues . “Color psychology plays an important role in movies because it sets the mood of the scene before it even begins. Cool tones are used when scenes are soft/heavy/sad and warm tones are used in brighter/happier scenes. Bulbbul on Netflix is ​​a great example of using color to express the emotions and personalities of characters in film. They used red as their primary color throughout the film. Many films use an analogous color palette which creates an overall harmony because they are in the same tones. Complementary colors are also used a lot as they make the character stand out,” says Akruti Sinha, art director and production designer.

Here are 6 films with incredible color schemes that we love:

1. Revenge


Revenge is a dish best served in pastels! With preppy school uniforms in mint green and lavender paying homage to 90s classics to elaborate ensembles drenched in cheerful hues, the visuals of Revenge are a bubblegum, almost contrived dream world, providing a stark contrast to the darker storyline. Endowed with a deceptively cheerful aesthetic, the film aims to be as amusing as it is vengeful.


Using a triadic color scheme of red, yellow and blue, Joker (2019) follows Arthur’s internal struggle with each color representing crucial parts of his journey. Blue is the color that works against him, it’s the color of the city, of society. Red, though rare, represents joyful times and the confidence he feels. The yellow symbolizes his dark side, his descent and his loss of grip on reality. The costume and make-up he wears have all these colors, meaning that the three facets of his personality become one and give birth to the Joker.

3. The Grand Hotel in Budapest

Exploring themes of fascism, nostalgia, friendship and loyalty, The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of the best examples of color being used as a crucial storytelling device. Wes Anderson tells the story of a wonderful European hotel in vibrant hues of red, purple, pink, white, orange and yellow contrasting with the dark times of war in which the film is set. From the communist era of olive green and orange to the 1930s wedding cake, The Grand Budapest Hotel offers a larger than life fantasy with a deep message behind.

4. Amelie


Amelie mostly follows a complementary color scheme with reds and greens but also features discordant colors, such as blue that deviate from the colors of the film to refocus the viewer’s attention. The story revolves around the character’s mission to help others find joy despite his own isolated and disadvantaged upbringing. While warm colors represent her loving personality, blue is her sad and lonely side.

5. She


The future is not represented in blue and purple neon lights in His, instead, it’s muted undertones and earthy tones. Among the khakis, however, the color red plays an important role in the film – it is almost everywhere in Theodore’s life, from his clothes and walls to furniture and flowers. This sets him apart from the film’s color scheme, showing that he is alone. Red also reveals his emotional state and desire for love while representing his compassion and hope.

6. The City of Sin

Originally shot in color and then digitally remastered in a black and white style, the visuals of city ​​of sin pay homage to the original graphic novel it was based on. To make things a bit more dramatic, with B&W shades, certain colors like red, green and yellow are used in places to exaggerate emotions and characters, drawing the viewer’s attention to finer details. . It’s a comic book come to life.