11.07.2019 in Essays samples

Color of Night Film Critique Essay

Discussion of Color of Night

The title of the film that has been selected for the current course of critique and discussion is Color of Night. This film is considered to be a vivid and significant representative of erotic mystery thrillers. Color of Night was directed by the outstanding artist Richard Rush, and was introduced to the audience in 1994. This film is an inevitably thrilling union of thrilling drama and erotic romance, detective story and psychology. The famous actors starring Color of Night include Bruce Willis and Jane March.

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The plot of the film Color of Night is significantly tense, dramatic and thrilling. The story evolves in a mysterious manner with constantly escalating tension and unpredictable conflict development. The key figures in the film are as follows: Bill Capa, an outstanding psychologist from New York City, who moves to Los Angeles after his patient’s suicide in order to start a new life that will be free from the horrors of the past which haunt Bill; and Rose, an enigmatic, teasing and very beautiful girl who changes Bill’s life completely. Bill and Rose start an unusual and significantly mysterious affair, while the character of Bruce Willis experiences even harder times because of his friend’s unexpected death. Actually, Bill takes his group of patients and continues his professional activity in Los Angeles.
Though, the troubles keep pursuing the psychologist, and the mysterious events become dangerous and threatening. The members of his friend’s group reveal the secrets which become more horrifying. Moreover, the threat appears not only for him, but also for other people who surround Bill.

The first serious and fatal burst of violence is the murder of one of Bill’s patients. It is not a coincidence, and it is apparently a murder – Casey, a painter who created sado-masochistic pictures, was killed in his studio and left with a slashed throat. This murder almost coincides in time with the attempt to kill Bill that happens on the road.

The hero of Bruce Willis starts his own gradual investigation as far as suspicion, danger and threats condenses around him. He founds out that Rose, with whom he has a passionate, unpredictable and strange relationship, weirdly resembles an unknown lover of each of his group’s members, except for a young transgender person named Richie Dexter.
Finally, Rose appears to be not only a lover of Sondra, Clark, Casey and Buck, but also to be Richie Dexter, who has identity problems, drug addiction in the past and a brother, Dale, who actually committed all those crimes. The final scenes of the film are also marked with violence: suffering of Rose-Richie, murder of Dale by Rose in order to protect Bill.


The key themes of the film Color of Night are closely connected with a psychological problems, identity and sexuality issues. The theme of psychological impact is also a very essential one. Moreover, the phenomena of alienation, emotional distress and surpressed emotions are also regarded as crucial themes of Color of Night. The themes of hopelessness and destruction are often referred to in the course of the film, especially in terms of Richie Dexter case.

Violence and Scariness

The aspect of violence may be considered to be one of the key phenomena featured in the film Color of Night. Actually, it is not relevant and rightful to consider that the notion of the evil and the violent is transmitted only by one character, namely, Dale, who vividly and aggressively demonstrates it in the case of two murders as well as in terms of his attitude to Rose-Richie despite his claims about the concern for her safety. Though, Rose is also connected with the phenomenon of violence, but it is a twist of the plot, an illusion, as far as she is not guilty and should be correlated with the notion of scariness displayed in the film. Furthermore, other characters also demonstrate certain level of predisposition to the violent and assaulting behavior. For instance, a sado-masochistic painter Casey who has been murdered may be a vivid example of violent deeds as far as he has burnt his father’s house.

Buck is a former policeman and appears to have suicidal inclinations. Clark is also a vivid representative of violent disorders and breaks. For instance, he hurt his wife several months before the sessions with Bill Capa. Though, it is essential to underline that the most wicked and dangerous member of the group in terms of violence appears to be a woman named Sondra. Her husband died under mysterious and identified circumstances, whereas her father was killed by Sondra by means of a knife and a fork. Hence, the notion of violence is woven into the canvas of Color of Night virtuously and constructively. It is transmitted by almost every character of the film from suicidal Bill’s patient to the horrible villain of the story, Dale. His two murders and exploitation of Rose-Richie are significantly cruel, violent and scary. Sometimes the violence is not pictured directly in the film, but is presented by means of clues, hints, and descriptions. The violent behavior is obviously predetermined by wicked past experience, demons, suppressed emotions and irrepressible desires of the characters of Color of Night. The resolution to this dilemma may be found only when the demons will be properly and efficiently cured.


As far as the phenomena of violence and cruelty may be regarded as a functional part of the film plot, it is apparent that there are scenes of crime activity. The scene of Casey’s murder is especially vivid and symbolic in this context. It is pictured in details and in bright colors of surrounding elements of the scene. The death of real Richie, a brother of Rose and Dale, is also woven into the canvas of the film, but as a reminiscent element of the plot. Though, it appears to be also a crime that has not been timely revealed and properly punished. Actually, it will never be punished as far as the psychologist of Richie is already dead. The crime of the death of Bill’s friend is also cruel and violent, but it appears to be pictured in more ‘mitigating’ way. A horrifying scene of violence, cruelty and crime is pictured in the final part of the film. It is the scene where Bill discovers the essence of Rosie-Richie and other nasty secrets her brother has kept for such a long time. The crime is committed to rose, but she also becomes a criminal as far as she kills her brother. Though, this crime is classified as a defensive action as far as otherwise Dale could kill Bill. It is a controversial issue to consider if Dale’s crimes’ were properly punished by means of his own death that may be regarded as the highest possible punishment. Though, it may be controversial as far as it was not as cruel and horrible as all the actions Dale had previously conducted.


The key moral issue of the film that is currently discussed is connected with the murders of three characters of the film, namely, Casey, Richie and Bill’s friend. This moral issue involves the notion of human life value and significance of personality integrity. Moreover, the issue is connected with the inhumane essence of the phenomenon of murder as far as it contradicts the natural essence of a human being. Hence, the values of life, human rights and actually ‘being a human’ should be considered to be the major ones in Color of Night.

Sexuality/Gender Issues

The aspect of sexuality is also crucial in the discourse of the film. It is connected not only with the couple of Bill and rose, but also with every member of the group. Actually, Rose and Sondra should be considered to be the most sexually relevant characters, especially taking into consideration their secret love affair. Sexual disorders may be regarded as one more reason for psychological instability.


The substance element is not vividly and precisely presented in the film Color of Night. Technical Actually, the manner of shots, the play of the light and the shadow, choice of colors and shades as well as the significance of the background should be regarded as constructive contribution to the overall film’s idea revelation.


It is very important that the film is a vivid representative of erotic mystery thrillers, but it is created in such a way that Color of Night does not lose its topicality and charm with the course of time. It is a proof of talented work. Moreover, the scenery and the choice of surrounding were really intriguing, relevant, constructive and primarily sophisticated. The genuine and at the same time highly skillful and competent performance of the actors starring in Color of Night attracts and strengthens its power and magnetism.


Nudity – 4;
Sex – 5;
Physical violence – 5;
Emotional stress – 5;
Blood – 3;
Profane language – 1;
Immorality – 5;
Parental Guidance – 1;
Watchability (adults) – 5;
Overall – 5.
Age Guide

The film is recommended only for the audience of adults as far as it is generally tense and hard for the psychic as well as it involves much violence, cruelty and sexual scenes.

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