Saturday, December 28, 2013

Bluer Than Blue, Sadder Than Sad (Movie Review: Blue Is The Warmest Color)

The French do the Art of Melancholy better than everyone else. Melancholy is certainly plentiful in "Blue Is The Warmest Color." I always say my personal criteria for what a good movie is always revolve around the question: did it make me think? did it make me feel? Well, this movie did both of that to me, and it also made me wince, it made me long, it made me hope. This movie is the story of Adele (The French title is “La Vie d’Adèle—Chapitres 1 et 2)  and we first meet her as a high school student, and like everyone else at that age, she still does not know what she feels, or rather, she has a difficult time understanding what she feels. Adèle Exarchopoulos plays her wide-eyed, and her face is transparent. We see the world new in her eyes . She kisses both a boy and a girl until she meets Emma (Léa Seydoux) and their great love affair starts. And it's a love for the ages, a great can't-breathe kind of feeling that takes over your world. Much has already been said of the ten minute "realistic" sex scene between the two characters. Do I think it's excessive? Perhaps it is, by a hair, and it is certainly quite a bit of male-gaze (How many close ups of their ass do we need?) Do I think its important and necessary to the story? Infinitely affirmative. It shows the emotional and physical bond that they have, which is very important as we see the relationship disintegrate later. And it does fall apart magnificently. A friend of mine has proclaimed that this move has the best break-up scene ever on film. I don't know about that but for me there are two more heartbreaking scenes: when they meet up again years later, and we see them both with love for each other, though one is no longer in love with the other. Exarchopoulos is fantastic there, though the direction was a bit tighter, as I am imagining that scene was more naturally set up. The film closes open-endedly, and as we see a character walk away, we know that her feelings have not settled, and we get an idea that it will never do. True love will always linger, just like in real life. This movie is merciless in showing us that, and for me, that makes it eternally unforgettable. 

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