on November 5, 2015
“Just because someone stumbles and loses their path, doesn't mean they're lost forever. Sometimes, we all need a little help.” These wise words stated by telepath Professor Charles Xavier in X-Men: Days of Future Past symbolize one of the main messages behind the superhero thriller: people can change for the better. In accordance with this theme, the blue, shape-shifting character known as Mystique, or Raven, undergoes a large transformation throughout the film. She acts as a rather misguided hero, not knowing that her actions, while seeming in the best interest of the mutant community, will lead to the demise of the X-Men in the future. In addition, her unique appearance also plays directly into her demeanor and reflects many aspects of her character. Mystique’s character is greatly influenced in the film through her interactions with other mutant characters and also reflected in her very symbolic facade.
Whether for a good or evil cause, Mystique is always, “true blue.” Her relationships in the film, specifically with Charles Xavier (Professor X), represent her devotion to those around her. When around Charles, she always does what is in the best interest of everyone, humans and mutants alike. For the whole first half of the movie, however, she is without Charles’s guidance, thus following a darker path. When Charles finally reaches out to Mystique, she is deterred from killing mutant hater, Bolivar Trask. If she had followed through with her original plans and killed Trask, the sentinel program, which would exterminate all mutants, would not have been canceled and she would have been taken captive and tested on. Nearing the end of the film Charles states, “Raven, please do not make us the enemy today. You can show them a better path.” After hearing this, her true loyalty to Charles ultimately leads to her sparing Trask’s life and the cancellation of the sentinel program. During Mystique’s interactions with Charles, her mannerisms also prove her loyalty. When around him, she is mostly in her normal, blue appearance, and not disguised as another being, thus symbolizing that she is truly herself when with Charles. Her true nature is only hidden when near characters lead her to malevolent actions, such as Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto). She is only “true blue,” both literally and figuratively, when interacting with Professor X. While her physical contacts with others contributes to her demeanor, her outward appearance also very much reflects her character.
While not the most appealing character to look at, the colors that are prominent in Mystique’s look, specifically blue, red, and yellow, are incredibly symbolic. The most noticeable of all of her colors is blue. Blue is known to represent trust and loyalty, in some cases, which are some of the main aspects of her character. As described earlier, Mystique is always faithful to one character or another, whether good or bad, so it makes sense that blue is the most blatant color in her appearance. Although blue takes up much of her body, it is not hard to recognize her fiery red hair. Red is known to symbolize passion and determination. This directly plays into her character, as she is passionate about saving the mutant race and determined to ensure that mutants will no longer be viciously murdered. Whether for a good or evil cause, her enthusiasm is always displayed and her hair is always, fittingly, scorching red. The final color, yellow, is not very noticeable, but it is found in her eyes. Yellow usually stands for fear or cowardice, and, while not the biggest aspects of Mystique’s character, they have a much deeper meaning. As she is acting as the leader in the fight against Trask, her fear is somewhat hidden. In accordance, the color yellow is hidden on her body, representing that while she has fear, it is not readily shown in her character. When Mystique is frightened by something, her eyes widen greatly, making the yellow more apparent on her body. For example, when she discovers Trask’s autopsy reports of her many mutant friends, her eyes bulge and she begins to cry. This, therefore, symbolizes her fear of the mass mutant death that could be caused by Trask’s program. While rather concealed, Mystique’s fear is more evident through her yellow eye color. Overall, the colors in Mystique’s appearance greatly reflect her personality and overall goals throughout the movie.
Through her genuine loyalty to Charles and her very symbolic facade, Mystique largely represents the main theme of X-Men: Days of Future Past, that people can completely transform for the better. In the final seconds of the movie, Charles Xavier states, “Countless choices define our fate; each choice, each moment, a moment in the ripple of time. Enough ripple, and you change the tide for the future is never truly set.” In the film, Mystique’s choices are what defined the future for all of humanity. By sparing Trask’s life, her whole demeanor is changed and she sets humanity on a brighter path, rippling the tide of history and altering the future. By adding Mystique’s personal change to the film, Director Bryan Singer also alters the tide of the X-Men series, bringing back characters that were previously killed in other movies. Mystique’s character, therefore, not only changes for the better of those in the film, but also in real life, by fixing all of the problems that had previously taken place in other films in the series. In accordance with Xavier’s statement in the film, Mystique’s choices and transformation caused enough ripple to change two futures: the future of the individuals in the film and the future of Singer’s X-Men films as a whole.