Esmeralda wears Red, Grrrrrr, now that’s out of our system we can move on. Quasimodo d’El Paris uses a very old but readily easy to red color style, characters you are meant to sympathize with I.E like are all in warm colorful tones while the other less likable characters are in stark colors or black and white. This isn’t like a super hard and fast rule as with the example of Esmeralda/Agnes.
As Agnes she wears white. I suppose you could simply make the conclusion that the rich people wear the stark colors and the poorer soul wear colors. While I’m on the subject of Esmeralda, the red doesn’t bother me as much in this movie’s case. For one reason she is not a Romani where that color has negative connotations. In this movie she is a Cuban and while I don’t know the Cuban’s stance of the color red I can say that the red triangle in their flag stands for equality, fraternity and freedom, none of which are bad things. Second Esmeralda is a lot more free-spitted and doesn’t have that purity she had in the book. And lastly, if you watch this movie and I mean REALLY watch you can see other Cuban ladies wearing the same outfit. It’s like this red dress is standard issue in the Court of Miracles.
It’s not just the characters that are set in the warmer tones, Notre Dame a.k.a the Cathedral of El Paris has a more of an orange hue. The actual Notre Dame has a cooler taupe color while the movie’s Cathedral is slightly warm in color. It’s not a dramatic difference of color but it’s notability in your mind.
Quasimodo also wears warm colors, mostly orange but some times blue. The point is he wears colors. Likable characters and places get happy colors and not nice people get no colors. Though Frollo is traditionally suppose to be in black.
Just a side note about Frollo, his facial hair. This is the first time Frollo gets a any type of facial hair. Oddly this type of facial hair is called a “Soul Patch.” It’s funny because he’s a priest trying to save people’s soul. It does make him look more sinister too. Otherwise his overall look is closest to Sir Cedric Hardwaicke from 1939 version, which is the standard Frollo movie look.
Hi, I just want to make one correction, most people believe red are a bad color for romani people, however this is not entirely true. There are many different romani groups, the groups that consider red a bad luck color are very few. Spanish romani (Iberian Kale) uses red a lot, and it is considered a good luck color in fact (I am a spanish romani so I can assure you most of us like the color). I believe Esme would be somewhat like the spanish romani because the book compares her with andalusian woman.
Other point, in India red is a sacred color and there are some places where red is the color of purity. Esme being a gypsy red, could make sense in that it means purity, but to french men who watch her it is a sexual color. I like the double meaning it has – Esme is pure and virgin (Red with the indian meaning), men see her as a seductress (european, sexualized meaning)