There are not many films that encourage me to write, but as I was watching Blue is the Warmest Color I craved to pick up my pen and start writing, not because the film was so bad that I wanted to rewrite it, but because the film, the dialogue (subtitles), the characterization and the story line was so good. So strong. There were moments where I had aha moments. When I observed how the film used literature and culture to define the two main characters. I also had the odd moment when, I thought to myself, damn I’d wish I’d written that.
This film spans a decade and is predominantly a coming-of-age story for the main protagonist, Adele. Just after starting up a relationship with a boy from her school Adele has a chance encounter with a slightly older woman, which leads Adele to think that something is missing in her relationship with the boy. Adele who is still at high school and the other woman, Emma is a young student completing her final year with a Fine Arts degree. Emma, being the elder of the two takes on the younger Adele as her protégé, not just sexually but to support her in her growth in becoming a young adult and person.
The film has overall been rated highly with most critics loving the film despite the long length of the film (just under three hours) and the explicit sex scenes. But as some reviewers have noted, how often can a three hour film keep you interested and in this case, riveted! I totally agree, I was never bored or restless. Sure it could have been edited, but even at three hours long it’s still a captivating film. And yes the sex scenes, particularly the lesbian sex scenes are explicit and very long, and I personally found these scenes exhausting. Just watching their agony, ecstasy, etc was excruciating, exhausting and afterwards (not that I was turned on) but I too felt like a cigarette… (being a French film, everyone lights up).
Basically the film at its core is about first love and both the positive and negative feelings one can feel in a relationship and the growth or stagnation that can occur in a relationship. Adele and Emma have an intense sexually charged relationship, something neither have had before in a relationship, But in many ways they weren’t equals. Adele came from a family whose special dinner was spaghetti bolognaise, while Emma’s step-father cooked oysters for dinner. Adele’s father rattled on to Emma that art wasn’t going to pay her bills, while Emma’s family seem to frown on Adele’s plan to be a teacher. Adele often felt inadequate and uneducated when with Emma’s family and friends, and Emma herself encouraged Adele to do something she ‘enjoyed’ such as writing and seemed embarrassed for Adele when Adele is questioned by her friends when they find out she teaches (Adele’s favorite subject was literature and she wrote often in her journal).
Many of us may have been in relationships similar to this, where you fell deep for someone who is from a different class, culture or economic background. This of course shouldn’t matter, and it often doesn’t, but it can make a difference in some relationships and some individuals’ growth. For Adele it did matter. She seem to struggle with her esteem and when she was around Emma’s family and friends where Emma felt totally at ease and happy.
So what matters most? Hot sex or common interests? It’s an interesting dilemma, and one that many people face, especially when it comes to long-term companionships and raising families. And the lucky ones they have both… or just prepared to work…
Now tell me, did the duck come first or the egg?