Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Queen; Colors, Colors, Colors

The date is August 31, 1997. Dark streets in Paris bustle about in their night-life. Within the Pont de L'Alma tunnel road, one dark, luxurious car speeds away with driver Henri Paul, Princess Diana and her companion, Dodi Fayed. 

In Great Britain, Queen Elizabeth II and her family later find out the tragic news of Princess Diana's death in her palace, Sandringham House. Although this event brings great grief to many hearts all around the worlds, probably even you, the reader, it brings Queen Elizabeth II into a new light. Personally, when watching this, I thought about The Iron Lady(2011), another British, biographical film, because it reminded me of the same questions I asked in this piece: 


What does it mean to be human? 

What is the limit of one's sacrifice when positioned into power? 


Although the world, including new Prime Minister Tony Blair, thinks that Queen Elizabeth II as strong as rock in every situation, it never expects the Queen's response to Diana's death to be a personal one. While the Queen and the royal family believe it's best for Diana's death to be dealt with as a private matter, the rest of the world thinks otherwise. As Queen Elizabeth II takes on the approach to think of her two grandsons, the world expects the Queen to aid their grief for the "People's Princess". Flowers, one by one, until they reach the thousands, pile themselves against Kengsington Palace's gates; they represent the remorse of Britain's civilians. Swiftly, the Queen struggles with realizing that she may not know her people as well as she once did. In the end, she realizes she must abide to Prime Minister Tony Blair's suggestions to address her country in order to save her authority and her country's trust.

 If one thing specifically stands out to me, it was the film's astounding use of color; by articulating struggles of Traditional Vs. Modern, and between Women Vs. Self. 
Let's talk about this.  


FIRST OFF: 
The dominant theme throughout this film is the Past/Traditionalism Vs. the Present/Modernism. The color palette representing the Queen and her Traditional outlook on life is composed of greens and beige. Everything from the Range rover she drives on hunting trips, to her clothing, her surroundings (especially in the forest), to her telephone, her walls, contains the color green. Additionally, all of these lovely green hues are lit by a soft beige lighting. This symbolizes how organic structure the now-passing traditional ways feel to Queen Elizabeth II, and to her family.







Now let's go to Tony Blair, the new prime Minister. 




That guy. His color palette comes off a little aggressive in his red hues. Not only are his ties mainly red, but his rooms are red or pink or even maroon. I think this is a genius example of a color palette contrasting two characters, and the two contrasting ideas of modernism and traditionalism. However, just like the in the Queen's color palette, the Prime Minister also has hints of beige illuminating the reds. This symbolizes how both characters have similarities in having high positions of authority. So why is this contrasting color palette so significant? 

Well, at the end, the color palette comes together to form a combination of both red and green colors in the images. Below on the left, the Prime Minister and the Queen walk side by side towards the ending, on a crimson carpet and green hued walls. On the bottom right picture, the Prime Minister listens to the Queen's address to her nation o a red couch whilst having a green hued kitchen placed in the background. This conveys how modernism and traditionalism form an alliance, a mutual form of understanding, and a middle ground in which both co-exist in peace. 





 If you haven't seen this cinematic piece, I highly recommend it. And, if you enjoy this movie, think about seeing The Iron Lady. If you have any questions or comments, or if you see this movie and recognize the color distinctions, please leave a comment below!

'Till next time!



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