When you’re watching a film you don’t tend to think much about the colors and how they interact, but you do notice them. The difference in hues is part of what drives Fight Club to be the dark, gritty, almost humorous film that it is. In many ways Fight Club is a film that you should not feel comfortable laughing at, but you still find yourself doing just this at certain parts of the movie. It’s not so much the color contrast that makes the entire movie, but color does play a big part in its creation.
Directors often see things that the casual viewer will not. They have a defined vision, a manner in which they would like to see a film go so that their ideas can be realized. Sometimes this is easy to see, others, not so much. In Fight Club the visual aesthetic seems all over the map, but in reality it’s right there, focused where you can see, if you just look. The contrast in colors sets the mood, the tone, and even gives credence to the setting of the movie.
Let’s take a look at a few scenes shall we?
The office that is held by the narrator’s boss. It’s clean, organized, but very hostile to any that walk into it. The walls are a shade of green that seem to scream danger and the hard lines and textures all around give off a vibe that is highly unappealing and would seem overly aggressive to most people. Just walking into the room seems to signal that the narrator is about to be in a world of trouble.
Then we go to Lou’s Tavern. It’s kind of a dump, a working man’s bar that offers plenty of comfort but not much else. Its colors are dark but somehow warm and inviting. It’s a place to go when you just need to kick back, relax, and suck down a few cold ones with a buddy or by yourself.
Anywhere else in the movie, particularly the house in which the narrator and Tyler Durden live, is noticeably dark and has an uncertain feel that could be nurturing or damaging in equal measures. It’s a tight rope that the narrator walks everywhere he goes, and in some locations he’s more likely to fall over and land on the side of comfort or harm.
There’s no getting past the fact that Fight Club is a very disturbing movie, but the occasional splashes of color in an otherwise dreary landscape tend to wake us up to the fact that it is a very rich and vibrant tale of the type of madness that grips the mind and doesn’t let go until it’s through. The use of color in the film tends to elevate certain characters while keeping many others in the background. When it’s time for them to come forward they will, but not until then.
Many times your eyes will pick up more than you realize when watching a movie. Colors are what help attract a person’s attention to a film, but how they are used is what draws the emotions forward in an effort to apply them to the film.
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