15th Mar2014

‘Blue is the Warmest Colour’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Léa Seydoux, Salim Kechiouche, Aurélien Recoing, Catherine Salée, Benjamin Siksou, Mona Walravens, Alma Jodorowsky | Written by Abdellatif Kechiche, Ghalia Lacroix | Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche


Love is a complicated thing, it can also be destructive but for those fleeting moments when you are truly in love they can shape your life forever.  Blue is the Warmest Colour is a film about love and a young woman’s discovery of herself, in both good ways and bad.  Controversial to some it also features some intense performances, and sex scenes that almost seem to go too far.  While I myself can understand the reason for this, some find it just a little too uncomfortable especially depending on who you are viewing it with.

When Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) experiences love at first sight, she never expected it to be with another girl, a stranger on the street with blue hair.  Trying for a relationship with a boy she finds he is not the one for her, and when another female friend kisses her a spark is lit that makes her wonder about her sexuality.  When she discovers the girl with the blue hair again Emma (Léa Seydoux) it’s not long before the two find themselves in a loving and passionate relationship.  As the two girls settle into their lives though and differ in what they see for their futures they slowly drift apart, raising the question is passion enough to make the love last?

Although Adèle is the main character this is very much the story of the two girls, who are in fact quite different.  Adèle wants to be a teacher and have a secure job where Emma is an artist, leading a flamboyant life and while Adèle does move into the employment she was hoping for, she is still young where Emma is older and begins to want to settle down.  This laid back life of fitting into a sedate life in ways is not what Adèle wants, leading her to feel left out, leading to mistakes that is almost expected from the younger girl who is in her first real relationship.  At the conclusion of the film the question of whether they belong together is answered, but to give that away would be a spoiler.

At almost three hours long you would think that Blue is the Warmest Colour is a hard film to sit through, but really it’s not.  The story of Adèle and Emma is interesting, heart-breaking but also heart-warming at the same time because you actually find yourself hoping for a good life for both characters, whether that be together or not.  Abdellatif Kechiche is a good director in making you feel the emotions of the relationship, especially with his style of direction where take after take is called for until he finds the perfect one.  This is stressful on the actors yes, but it pushes them to get that good performance the scenes need, and make the film feel emotionally charged.

So to the sex scenes, are they too much? In a way at least one of them does feel that it goes on a little too long and there is an explicit nature to them, but for me this focuses on the reality that we are expected to feel from the story.  The scenes show the passion between the two and the organic nature of their love, word of mouth has made it known that these scenes are in it, so if you watch and feel uncomfortable… well you knew it was coming?  At no point are the scenes gratuitous in nature, and have a meaning to the plot, they are about love and passion, sometimes the passion is too much but is that not the weakness in the relationship?

Blue is the Warmest Colour is a film with two very good performances from the main actors and direction and writing (based on the comic book by Julie Maroh) that really pulls the viewer into the relationship of Adèle and Emma.  We see the warning signs in their relationship where we know there will be tension, we see when things are falling apart and dread the results.  One thing you’ll be left with though at the end of the day is this is a story about true love where a girl discovers her first real love and her life is shaped by it, whether it be good or bad.

Blue is the Warmest Colour is released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 17th.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek.com

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