DEFINITION January 2022 – Web


“One of the ways we sought to portray that was to use a cool fill and warm light. So, there’s always a difference in colour temperature in the house. It’s never simple and easy, as there’s always a feeling of things being unresolved. That’s pretty much the whole season of interiors.” Bringing conflict into the visuals in almost imperceptible ways is a truly masterful means of representing the underlying antagonism. More extreme lighting is utilised when this tension is overt, like in violent situations. Here, the aesthetic leans into horror visuals. “When things go really bonkers with violence, that is all played darker and more ambiguous – cooler and greener.” The horror motifs are in contrast to bright, warm visuals in episode 8, where our couple invite neighbours Sherry (Shalita Grant) and Cary (Travis Van Winkle) to explore polyamory. The narrative suggests that this can be Joe’s escape from the relationship. “That was deliberately played happy and warm. Like, this could go great, this could be exactly how Joe wants it

to,” Shah points out. “As the evening unravels, and especially as Joe and Love get into an argument downstairs, we reintroduce the cooler colours in contrast with the warmer highlights. This creates a notion of imbalance, and we get a darker palette for a greater sense of danger.” It all culminates when Joe and Love are downstairs, in almost complete darkness, fearing the couple upstairs – who may know their terrible secret – will cause their downfall. In this moment, it’s easy to forget that Sherry and Cary are innocent, and Joe and Love are the real threat. Therein lies the crux of what makes You so addictive. The latest season of You breaks the format created over the previous two, which is a risk to take with such a successful show. However, it allows us to engage with our protagonist in new ways, and delve into more facets of his perspective. The production choices help mould and influence the audience in a way that is chilling and exciting; allowing us to explore the moral quandary that the script provides. Joe is a liar, a manipulator, a cheat, a stalker and a murderer – and yet we all find ourselves wanting him to be OK. It begs the question who the real villain is here: Joe, or… you? Watch You now on Netflix

ON A KNIFE’S EDGE Suburban life mingles with classic horror imagery and lighting, in crescendos of tension

that case, they’re sitting there together, but they’re apart. She goes away to the kitchen. He’s alone. They’re shot in discrete singles in such a way to suggest distance and separation between them.” The shot lengths and types were chosen specifically – to either minimise or exacerbate physical closeness between the couple, and be symbolic of the health of their union. Regardless of where we are in their toxic cycle, any soft moment between them is undercut by an unease that underscores their nauseating waltz.

“Bringing conflict into the visuals is a masterful means of representing antagonism in the narrative”

23. JANUARY 2022

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