‘The Colour of Spring‘ tells the poignant story of Sarah and Sam – a couple whose relationship is being tested by the growing rift between their respective career choices. Sarah is doing well as an actress and is gaining quite a bit of attention from Peter, an older man who is currently directing the production of MacBeth that she is starring in. Meanwhile, Sam is stuck at the same corporate job that he had when the two first met, and he is becoming increasingly frustrated by the obvious flirtations between Peter and Sarah.
The production of MacBeth plays a central role in the film. The play is often quoted and frequently referenced. Sarah plays Lady MacBeth, and there is a clear parallel between the Shakespearian themes of guilt, innocence, and ambition with the suspicions that plague the couple’s relationship. The movie is clearly influenced by the stage, as evidenced by the banter-filled dialogue, sparse lighting, and muted settings. The film opens with a stark and attention-grabbing first shot that focuses on the female lead, Sarah, as she repeats a mantra that will recur throughout the film. The entire film is shot in an evocative black & white, giving it an almost ethereal feeling. Each scene is gorgeously framed, and even the stagier sequences look excellent thanks to usage of negative space and composition.
The pacing is slow and deliberate, but adds to an overall sense of longing and mystery. The movie builds subtly – character relationships are established quietly in the beginning, with passing glances and jealous lurking revealing each character’s intentions and motivations. The acting is well-done and the chemistry between Sam and Sarah is truly palpable. Alexa Morden has a strong presence as Sarah, and is definitely believable as a fresh-faced up and coming actress character. Jamie Muscato is utterly charming as Sam, and even as the character makes giant mistakes and relationship missteps, his comforting singing and loving eyes make it easy to root for him. Everything from their initial courtship to their hushed confessions to their tearful arguments feel real; they feel like the true interactions of long-time lovers.
There are sprinkles of magical realism in the first two acts of the film, and this comes to a head by the third act. Now, some of it feels a bit out of place and incongruous with the rest of the film, but overall it’s an effective and creative way to show the tumultuous turns that Sam and Sarah’s relationship has taken. A mysterious older woman and a seductive enchantress-type give the film a dollop of mystery and intrigue that sets it apart from your average romance.
Fans of romance and the stage will adore Paul Andrew Kimball’s film. Personally, theater isn’t quite our thing, so the theater influences didn’t affect us as strongly as it may affect others. Still, even with that being said, the story gripped us and we found ourselves pleading with the characters on screen to reconcile. It is a genuinely engrossing and engaging story, filled with clever dialogue and thematic resonance.