Blue Is The Warmest Color

blue is the warmest color posterIt would be a mistake to only remember Blue Is The Warmest Color for its sex scenes showing bodies closely, without taboo or shame. Those beautiful, extended sequences – one of them lasting 7 minutes – depict the passion between Adèle, a high school girl who likes literature and want to be a teacher and Emma, an art student who will become a famous artist. Their bodies are shown like pieces of art, reflecting Emma’s paintings of Adèle, which are being exhibited in a gallery and once you remove those sensual moments, you might wonder what’s left of Abdellatif Kéchiche’s film. Is it just a movie about lesbians? No, rather Blue Is The Warmest Color is a great and poignant love story, narrated entirely from the perspective of Adèle, the character bearing the same name as the actress Adèle Exarchopoulos,who shines in this role. Moody, crushed by the weight of life, she is able to communicate her misfortunes to the audience, developing empathy and turning this film into a discreet masterwork.

Adèle is somewhat an incarnation of French author Marivaux’s heroine Marianne, his novel La Vie de Marianne being studied during a literature class at the beginning of the movie – the original title of the movie La Vie d’Adèle referring directly to that novel. This book about fate and the unstoppable, tragic influence of love provides hints about the direction Adèle’s life will take. Other writers are quoted in the moive, most particularly Sartre, the philosopher’s trilogy Les Chemins de la liberté coming to mind with its gallery of Parisian characters facing misfortune and the responsibility of being free – a base for existentialism. This didactic scenario is clearly heavy-handed but the director Abdellatif Kéchiche redeems himself thanks to the mastery of his direction – for example this emotional sequence where the two ex-lovers meet again in a café, Adèle’s tears representing an unavoidable misfortune and the consequence of her choices – a typical Sartrean existentialist setting.

Another noticeable flaw is the poor character study, most particularly when it comes to tackling social commentary, the filmmaker mentioning quickly that subtheme without really exploring it: one girl’s family is somewhat snobby while the other girl’s family is lower class. Fortunately, after a few aimless sequences like this, the film gets back to its core, focusing on the girls’ relationship and the consequences of their breakup. While Adèle’s lack of ambitions makes her feel isolated, which will result in the girl succumbing to temptation, Emma is on the other hand more grounded, following her artistic path and facing situations with aplomb.

Kéchiche’s camera stays close to the characters whether it’s to capture emotions or making us experience their passion. It envelops them to better reveal their souls. We share Adèle’s grief and solitude; we remain powerless as we see her leave Emma’s art opening knowing she can’t escape her fate.

Director: Abdellatif Kéchiche – Actors: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Léa Seydoux – Running Time: 2:57 – Year: 2013 – Country: France

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Moland Fengkov

Moland Fengkov

Based in Paris, Moland is a journalist and photographer; He is more particularly responsible for covering the Cannes film festival for Plume Noire, writing movie reviews and taking gorgeous pictures.
Moland Fengkov

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