Amazon.ca Widgets

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sean Kelly

My Thoughts on Blue is the Warmest Colour

BlueistheWarmestColorThe winner of the Palme D’Or at this years Cannes Film Festival tells the story of Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a high school senior, who finds herself infatuated with blue-haired art student Emma (Léa Seydoux).  The two strike up a friendship, which quickly turns into a passionate love affair.  However, as time goes by, the passion begins to fade and the two of them begin growing apart.  Blue is the Warmest Colour tells the story of love and loss and how these girls grow from the experience.

I should start off by noting the film’s three hour runtime and how it takes its time to tell Adèle and Emma’s story.  The actual French title of the film is La vie d'Adèle Chapitres 1 & 2 (The Life of Adèle – Chapters 1 & 2), which clearly states that the film has two distinct chapters to it.  The switch between the two parts of the film are cleverly marked with the sudden change of Léa Seydoux’s hair colour from the seductive blue, to a more standard brown.

In a nutshell, the first part of the film documents the passionate beginnings of Adèle and Emma’s relationship, while the second part deals mostly with what happens after the relationship ends.  The film features a lot of mundane and/or repeated moments and it’s a fair assertion to say that the story of the film could have been told with a shorter running time.  However, because the story takes place over many years, a fair guess would be at least a decade, I appreciated how the film took its time and allowed us to watch these characters grow over the course of the film.  The Adèle and Emma seen at the end of Blue is the Warmest Colour are much different characters than we are introduced to at the start.

I also have to say I liked how how Blue is the Warmest Colour plays out just like a normal romance, without dwelling too much on the lesbian angle.  While there is a point in the film, where Adèle is the victim of some nasty homophobic comments, the response of others to Adèle and Emma’s relationship doesn’t really become an issue.  The film chooses not to show us moments of Adèle coming out to her friends or family and instead quickly jumps from the relationship’s passionate beginnings to a few years later, when Adèle and Emma are a well-established couple.  In an age when homosexually still isn’t fully accepted by the masses, it is refreshing to see a film that shows it as a very normal thing.

Before I conclude, there is one aspect of Blue is the Warmest Colour that I don’t really want to talk about, but I feel obliged to, since it seems to be the most talked about element of the film.  That is of course the fact that the film features a number of very explicit sex scenes between Adèle and Emma, including one that goes on for quite a lengthy period of time.  In my interpretation, these scenes are meant to visually show how passionate Adèle and Emma’s love affair is at the beginning.  It’s definitely a touchy subject that I don’t want to get too much into, but I will say that the line between art and pornography is very thin in this case and your response to these scenes will be based on your personal views about sexual content in movies.  Personally, I believe that the director had an artistic reason for the inclusion of these scenes and, while quite graphic, I don’t think that they are pornographic.  In fact, I’ve probably seen worse sexual content in certain mainstream American films.

Overall, I will say that I really enjoyed Blue is the Warmest Colour.  It’s truly a shame that so much attention is on the sexual content in the film, since those scenes are only a small percentage of this great story of love and loss.

 9 | REALLY LIKED IT

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).