Movie Review: Blue is the Warmest Colour

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First loves are as different as they are the same. “Blue Is The Warmest Color” filmmaker Abdellatif Kechiche’s courage resides not so much in the fact that the story depicts the narrative of same-sex first love but in the fact that it recounts it in what some may consider dramatic detail. The cockeyed open-heartedness of the director’s conception results in a three-hour-long girl-meets-girl narrative.

They aren’t fast-paced hours, and they’re not supposed to be; Kechiche, who is evolving a graphic novel by Julie Maroh, wants his audience to find pleasure in and empathize with specific details. 

While there have been so many similar film romances, none have been depicted in such an elaborate and engaging manner.

First, Kechiche immerses the audience in the life of Adèle, a wide-eyed high-school hottie who, by the ideals of her peers, should be wowing the boys but rather nearly crushes the heart of the one guy she dates on the spur of the moment. She becomes fixated on a blue-haired older girl she notices on the sidewalks of her French town while feeling nothing for the guy or any others. 

After Adèle finds Emma in a gay club, the teenager and the young artiste start having deep, soul-searching discussions on a park bench. Shortly after, in the film’s already well-publicized sex sequences, they discover one other’s keys to physical nirvana. In the early stages of their relationship, the two lovers eat as much and as voraciously as they make love, and Emma devotes special attention to showing Adèle how to savour oysters. 

(There are weirdly enough parallels here of Claude Chabrol’s little-known 1990 version of Henry Miller’s “Quiet Days In Clichy,” which starred Andrew McCarthy.) The principal women are nearly totally responsible for the film’s visually captivating quality. They are ardent in their commitment to their roles. 

Neither of them gives off the slightest suggestion of attempting to elicit or inhibit an emotional response. 

As a couple, the two inherently transition from a state of sizzling attraction and carnal lust to a domestic life that portrays the classic and ordinarily ugly complications that an acolyte/ingénue relationship brings. Adèle starts to grow up well before the audience’s eyes in a manner that makes Emma’s inner confidence seem a little complacent.

Strangely, after going to such lengths to ascertain Adèle’s high-school homophobia, Kechiche fails to portray how it would have impacted her life as she transitions from student to vocational training; nor, after displaying a “we’re just study friends” supper at which Adèle presents Emma to her mom and dad we don’t see her family life. This seems almost strange after watching the scene.

If “Blue is the Warmest Color” isn’t a genius work, which is most likely it won’t be seen as it’s clearly a provocative work and not a childish one.  Let’s suppose its multi-faceted heart is in one or two of the correct areas. If you’re wondering whether to watch this movie, you should.

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