Color in Mad Max: Fury Road

I feel as though color played such an important role throughout the film. In a sandstorm of dull, rusty red, burnt orange, earthy, tan-beige, and sandy yellows, there were several instances where vivid colors stood out to me and indicated importance, value or power within the character or location that embodied them. The color green was particularly outstanding verbally and physically throughout the film. Furiosa’s piercing green eyes, dabs of green atop baron cliffs in the Citadel and promise of “The Green Land” stressed importance to me of hope and fight that the women in the movie personified.

In addition to the recurrent mention and appearance of green, white was another bold color that caught my eye. The snow-white hue of Immortan Joe, Nux and the rest of War Boys contradicts the normal ideas that white represents innocence, new life and purity. The filmmakers took that idea and totally warped it, making the pasty skin something to fear, look out for and hate as well as a representation of lifelessness. In addition, as Immortan Joe releases the rush of water to the people below, the contrast of the waterfall to the cliff side makes it appear white as well. To me, this ties back to the fear instilled in viewers and other characters and shows how by simply controlling the water, Immortan Joe also controls the feelings and behaviors of the people below.

The rich blue eyes that both Max and Nux have linked them together for me. Although they were physically linked by the IV and chain for blood to flow from Max to Nux, their similarly eyes seemed to be an impossible coincidence and foreshadowed the alliance between the two. It made me realize that he was not going to be a negative, evil presence throughout the entire movie.

The aforementioned examples are just a few of several color bursts that drew me in throughout the film, including Capable’s fiery red hair, the recurrence of blood red and the blue tints of particular scenes. This reminds me of the film Schindler’s List, since that entire movie is in black and white. Obviously, viewers notice that the film is not in color, but it is a film about the Holocaust, so most people assume that it just adds a historical affect to the film. I became conscious of the lack of color when I saw the girl in the red coat scene and how it impacted the main character, and, although not in black and white, the color scheme in Mad Max resonated similarly with me. I did not start paying much attention to the color, even though I recognized the dull hues, until I saw the snowy white, emerald green, etc. and it made me more conscious of the scenes that I was watching. It made me look at the characters more closely and look for colors that signified important turning points, characters and actions. My question to everyone is does color have this effect on anyone else? Do you think minute details such as a character’s eye color or the water’s color have an extreme effect on the plot or symbolize anything? Or are they simply colors that filmmakers manipulate to be aesthetically appealing? I think that the incorporation of contrasting bold and dismal colors plays into viewers’ interpretations of characters and films as a whole, and feel as though these small details make movies like Mad Max: Fury Road even more successful.


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