What color do you most associate with Daredevil? Let me guess – it’s red, right? I don’t deserve a prize; it seems like a no-brainer. His outfit is red. But the series has been planting “red” in your head before you even knew it.
This is the first of a promised three-part series where I focus on and celebrate the importance color coordination plays in the Marvel Netflix shows. Am I about to go all “curtains are blue” English professor on you? Only a little bit.
The color red is used throughout Daredevil often. It’s the color of Battlin’ Jack’s robes. The color of Elektra’s mask. We see it in the blood-like wax intro.
Red is associated with two things Daredevil has plenty of: Blood, and (a world on) fire. It is the color of passion, danger, strength, power and determination. But aside from being a handy way to categorize the Netflix shows, what does red mean in Daredevil?
Matt Murdock is strongly rooted in religion, and one way Daredevil describes getting in “the zone’ during a fight (“seeing red”, eh? Eh?) is letting the devil out. Matt’s father had a bit of the devil in him, and his passed on to him. Notice the tinting in the scenes where Matt finds his dad dying in the alley. Notice the tinting when Matt gets in fights – I mean really lays it in on Kingpin, or the poor goons in the stairwell fight. You can tell when the “devil comes out”. The information is all in the frame for you.
But tinting the frame so significantly sounds like a ridiculous and over-the-top way to convey a message, right? There’s no way you wouldn’t notice it, and it just seems gimmicky. Little did you realize that filmmakers have been evoking feelings and themes with colorization for decades. Right under our very noses!