Design Film and Cinematography Interior Architecture

Life Through a Rose Tinted Lens

Digital illustration by Azmina Harris, 2021

He let out a loud burp, the doughnut crumbs falling to the floor, joining the crackle of chip wrappers and chocolate foils. Unbothered, he continues the job he was paid for, eyes fixed on screen waiting for something mildly interesting to happen. The man in the CCTV surveillance looks bored. He’s dressed in a washed out brown tweed jacket that is blending into the walls of the lift. At first sight, it looks as if he is not there, simply part of the monotonous colors of the fading timber walls.

Ding! The lift reaches to a halt and the doors slide open. A woman enters stuttering forward with child-like curious eyes to take her rest at the right of the man. She is dressed in all white, the glow of her skin bouncing off her dress, and illuminating the lift. ‘Huh” the guard thinks and leans forward, his coffee dangerously placed at the edge of the worn table. She’s beautiful, the kind of face  he dreams of and does not forget, but that aside, the aura she radiates is powerful, catching the attention of the man in the lift. He can’t place his finger on what it is — her hair or her dress or her bag. Simply as a whole , she is a contrast to everything in the space she occupies that gives her the soft glow of a spotlight. The man in the lift isn’t camouflaged anymore; he is there and present; complimenting the lady beside him, as the corners of his previously down-turned lips hint at a smile.

The guard smirks. There is not much to look forward to when having to watch the same lifts every day, but it is in moments like this that he is reminded, life can take subtle turns that romanticize the piercing screech of his humdrum life.

500 Days of Summer Screen Still (2009) Image Credit: Pedestrian TV

Beep beep. The loading symbol on the screen continues its high pitched squeak.He tries to stay unbothered, hoping if he takes his mind off it, time will flow more quickly. But he doesn’t want to; he wants it to slow down; he wants the gold of the light in his room to not wear out. He wants it to stay that way: the bulb never flickering, just paused in the moment. He takes in his surroundings, the dim light further emphasizing the dullness of his day, flooding the space with a lusterless feel. He sits in this mellow feeling and finds comfort in it, as I do at the end of every day. Change is not likely to happen anytime soon, but he doesn’t mind it. He likes the now he is in this scene, this view, he could get used to dwelling here for a while.

HER Screen Still (2013) Image Credit: IMDB

Film and cinematography play a huge role in romanticizing our daily lives. They make everyday of a morbid life a little more meaningful and worth living by inspiring us to take little, perfectly shot scenes, and recreating them in our own reality. Colors and set designs play such a huge role in making sure the right emotions are evoked to the fullest degree. The scenes described above are some of the many scenes from my personal favorite movies where the spaces for the sets are natural and realistic when compared to reality but just tweaked with the play of set designs and colors.

For instance, in the film, 500 Days of Summer, what is seen as a simple interaction between the two love interests is later revealed by the director in the play of the set design along with the period of the film that hints to the ending of the relationship in the last few minutes.

500 Days of Summer Screen Still (2009) Image Credit: Pedestrian TV

Throughout the film, Summer (female lead), lives her life in the hues of blues and whites, where not only are her dress designs in that particular palette but her room and living spaces are too. Whereas Tom (male lead), on the other hand, wanders into her life with his dark browns and black, representing the opposing colors of Summer’s vibrant life. Design becomes operational, giving this spectacular movie a deeper plot line where the story is not just told by the characters but what goes on around them. The POV (Point of View) written in the beginning shows that such contrast catches the eye of its viewer and allows them for just a second to take a step back to be able to adore life as it comes.

Just as in The Song La Vi en Rose (Live Life in Pink) art is a constant reminder that even the smallest most irrelevant aspects of our lives, like waking up and taking a look at ourselves in the mirror can be amplified to mean something more enjoyable. While you adore how clear your skin glimmers in the sunrise, take a second to bask in the scene that you are in, and the colors that surround you. Be the main character in your life.


Digital illustration by Azmina Harris, 2021

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