Adele’s life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire, to assert herself as a woman and as an adult.
First of all, let me start this review by saying this: “Blue is the Warmest Color” is rated NC-17 for explicit sexual content. I wanted to get that out of the way because during the screening I attended, several people left the movie halfway through and as they were leaving, they could be heard muttering “disgusting” and “nothing but pornography.” Well, if these people had cared to read up on the movie first, they might not have wasted their time in the first place. Also, it is three hours long so be prepared.
The movie tells the story of Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) and how her life is changed when she meets Emma (Léa Seydoux), a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire, to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adèle grows, seeks herself, loses herself and then finds herself. As an indie filmmaker, the first thing I noticed about the movie is that there was no music in it. None whatsoever. When you make a film and you want the audience to react a certain way, music is a crucial element of whatever emotion it is you are seeking to elicit, whether it be sad or romantic or scary, the right music will help evoke that reaction.
The reason this movie worked, for me, especially with no music, was because of the execution of the characters by the two young leads, Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos. They both give extraordinarily, beautiful, tour-de-force performances and throughout most of the movie’s three-hour run time, for the first time in a long time, I forgot I was watching a movie. I wasn’t watching two young actors portraying their characters, I was watching two young women who find each other and then fall in love with each other.
The bottom line? This is a love story, first and foremost. Gender doesn’t even come in to it, these are two people who find happiness in being together and the turbulent emotions that accompany any sort of relationship. As their romance blossoms, the conflict between the two lovers is depicted in stunning detail. Adèle is in high school and when she has her first sexual encounter with a boy she likes, it’s nothing like she had expected. She can’t quite put her finger on it but she feels that something was missing.
While on her way to school one morning, she passes a girl with blue hair and the two share a momentary glance and continue on their way but Adèle can’t get her face out of her mind and fantasizes about being with her. One night, while out with some of her gay friends, she stumbles into a gay bar and the two finally meet. Adèle has never been with a girl before but so badly wants to be with Emma and Emma, having been with girls for many years, can sense this in her but doesn’t want to rush things until they are both ready, especially Adèle. It was this anticipation, building up to their first kiss, that was beautiful in its execution. The glances between them, their smiles, a faint brush against the other, it was, romantic.
Does the film have nudity? Yes and it’s very graphic in its depiction, hence the NC-17 rating but once you get beyond that, you’ll see that the story is very simple in its handling of two young people in love. In the end, I came away from this movie loving the direction, the simplistic approach to telling such a beautiful story and the two young leads for an impassioned and incredible odyssey that had me enthralled for 179 triumphant minutes. Very Highly Recommended.
In stores February 25th
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