One of the best love stories of all time, the 2005 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice quickly captured my heart because of the careful artistry that went into infusing every element of the movie with the charm and romance of the original novel.
The cinematography is beautiful, and color is to used to expertly add subtle layers of emotion and meaning to each scene.
Pride & Prejudice (2005) is a great movie to study to learn how to use color to add depth to a story.
I’ve broken down the color palettes of the main characters and places from the movie to highlight how color is used to reinforce personality and mood.
Our heroine’s color palette is earthy and simple, and switches between deep, rich colors and light neutrals depending on the mood of the scene.
Elizabeth, besides being the main character, is shown as the most grounded person in the Bennet family and often seeks the outdoors for times of reflection during turbulent situations.
Deep navy blue is the key color for Mr. Darcy, reflecting his mysterious and brooding nature. Small pops of white and light gray are incorporated to keep his palette from feeling villainous, and as the movie progress and Darcy is seen as a more sympathetic and admirable character, his color palette softens to a royal blue with white and brown tones.
The sweet, feminine color palette used for Jane easily reflects her delicate and shy nature. Jane has the most colorful palette in the movie, making her scenes feel positive and sunny.
Mr. Bingley sticks to a simple palette of cool grays with white and cream thrown in. The cool grays contrast with his red hair and draw attention to his face. The overall simplicity of his palette is mirrored is his straightforward personality.
Mr. Bingley isn’t a complex character, and neither is his color palette.
By far the boldest color palette, Caroline Bingley dominates her scenes with elegant dresses that accentuates her gorgeous locks. The bold color palettes makes her feel separate from the other characters - mirroring her belief that she is above them.
the Bennet Home
The Bennet home is most often shown in shadows, and utilizes dark browns and blues as the dominate colors. Elizabeth is burdened by a tiresome family, and the Bennet home is shown as a dark, messy place until Mr. Bingley comes to propose in a now sun-soaked room.
the Bingley Estate
Gold curtains, walls, and sofas decorate the Bingley estate, filling every scene with the weight of luxury. Intricate detailing in shades of gold and pale blue feels extravagant yet stifling in their excess - most of the scenes that take place there involve Elizabeth feeling out of place.
the Darcy Estate
The Darcy estate has even more grand luxury than the Bingley estate, but it’s more of a classical luxury - marble and dark wood are featured, with accents of gold and red. The openness of the marble galley is shown in contrast to the stuffy Bingley estate.
Pride and Prejudice is just one instance where we can see how color affects our perception of the world and the people in it whether we are aware of it or not. By controlling colors, we can shape narratives.
10 MORE COLOR PALETTES BASED ON FAMOUS PAINTINGS
Studying famous artists' color palettes is a simple way to start learning about color dynamics without needing any background in fine arts.