Even at its most obscure, Upstream Color keeps the viewer involved thanks to the aforesaid music score and the flow of its nature-derived imagery – sunlight, water, animals, insects, and birds (see still at top of page) and the archetypal blue flower motif. The consistent beauty of the imagery gives the movie the feel of poetry:
O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm: Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.
(“The Sick Rose” by William Blake.)