Roses in American culture are the ultimate symbol of love, life and death. They have come to symbolize compassion, caring and love.The beauty of roses is superseded with danger, for they have thorns that can prick.The film is masterfully directed by the famous theater director Sam Mendes and encompasses a great number of cinematic techniques that appear fresh and exciting. However, they failed to notice the clever use of color used throughout the film–especially the color red.
Roses in American culture are the ultimate symbol of love, life and death. They have come to symbolize compassion, caring and love.The beauty of roses is superseded with danger, for they have thorns that can prick.
Color is used not only to show juxtapositions in neighborhoods, but to bring out the characters as well.
Sam Mendes captures the essence of each character with color.
Red roses become not only a motif in the film; they come to represent symbols. They are in the garden; almost every room in the house has a bouquet of brightly colored roses in a vase.
They are the centerpieces to the dining room table.
Within the house Mendes restricted the colors to a monochromatic blue-gray scheme to emphasize the isolation between the Burnham’s.
Lester escapes from this cold and lonely house by creating a domain for himself, it is framed in golden browns, and this separates him even further from the blue-gray existence he had been living.Sand hit the nail right on the head when he said this in 1872.Appearance versus reality has been a central theme in many American creative works including the film American Beauty.The family is clad in black and white throughout most of the film to externalize the loneliness and isolation between themselves and society.The other neighbors present appear at first to be the most abnormal of the bunch.It can insinuate energy, vitality, passion, anger, power, excitement, and sacrifice. Red can stand for warmth, danger, love, sex, death, rage, lust, and beauty.Red is the color used for the women’s clothing, the cars, the doors and also it is the color of Lester’s blood splattered across the white table at the end of the movie. Sam Mendes incorporated many of these meaning of red within the film American Beauty, Not only did Sam Mendes implant a motif of red, he also incorporated a motif of the red rose.Another adaptation of the title is the beauty of a perfect American home much like the Burnham’s home appears to be.But all have flaws, the rose has thorns to prick, Angela has her fear of being ordinary and the Burnham’s home, well it too is cursed with the reality that they are a dysfunctional family.American Beauty is a film that delves into your typical, middle-class suburban American home and slowly uncovers all of the abnormalities that lie within.The family is portrayed as normal but as the films tag line suggests “look closer” then it is possible to fully understand the implications that takes place in this seemingly happy home.