“Blue is the Warmest Color” Movie Review
I am not a French lesbian so I felt a little underqualified in regards to even attempting to review this film. However, underneath the exterior of the classically French, artistic style of the film and beyond the wave of controversy to do with the subject matter and the actual production of the film, “Blue is the Warmest Color” is a film we can all learn something positive from.
The film follows Adele (Adele Exarchopoulos) through her adolescence and early twenties as she explores and tries to find herself. As she nears the end of her time in high school she comes across a woman with blue hair called Emma (Lea Seydoux), who she finds herself drawn to after disappointing experiences with boys her age. Eventually a relationship begins between the two and the film follows them into their adult lives.
“Blue is the Warmest Color” does something truly remarkable, which every film I’ve seen up to this point dealing with the same subject matter hasn’t done. It treats a homosexual relationship exactly the same as a heterosexual one. This may seem like an obvious and simple thing to do but it feels to me like something truly original and ground-breaking. The film is also not primarily about homosexuality as many people are led to believe. I firmly believe the film could be almost exactly the same if it were a straight couple; it would only lose a couple of scenes about discrimination which don’t truly affect the outcome of the story.
The director, Abdellatif Keriche is clearly a perfectionist; he reportedly filmed around 250 hours’ worth of film during production. Every detail is captured, every facial expression seen, absolutely nothing is missed which creates an exceptionally well rounded film. Exarchopoulos was 18 when she dropped out of school to join production, but her inexperience doesn’t show. She and Seydoux more than deserved their inclusion in the awarding of the Palme d’Or. No other actresses have ever been awarded the accolade before, which shows how their performances contributed so much to the artistic process.
However, there were some small features of this film that began to irritate me. The metaphorical use of the colour blue throughout the film to represent Adele’s desires, emotions, and mood is a vital part of the film. But after three hours of virtually every other character wearing blue clothes, driving blue cars, living in blue houses and owning blue objects you begin to feel like the director is bludgeoning you over the head with a blue hammer. The use of blue stops being subtle and meaningful and just became irritating and distracting. Also, less a criticism and more a confused observation: the characters seem to only eat spaghetti for seemingly no reason.
But when the only criticisms you can make of a film are the overuse of a colour and a probable throwaway choice of cuisine, the film is clearly doing very little wrong. “Blue is the Warmest Color” is certainly more of an experience than entertainment. If you don’t like subtitles or, more specifically, foreign cinema, then don’t bother watching it. However, if you want to see a touching story about coming of age than transcends nationality, sexuality and gender, then I highly recommend “Blue is the Warmest Color.”