Blue is the Warmest Color is a French Bildungsroman story directed by Abdel Kechiche about the blurry rise of first love, the honeymoon stage, and its tragic downfall. It is a vivid reference of current youth living in a trance, of finding one’s niche, of fitting in to society’s standard –and more.
Finely detailed and intimately portrayed, the film involves school bullying, peer pressure, partying at clubs, smoking cigarettes, fleeting feeling of lust, sexual awakening, and the effervescent presence of love at a tender age. The storytelling is quite frank, the acting raw. To mesh these issues all together in a three hour long film is what probably stirred the audience’s praise and uproar. And to prejudge that the sole reason that makes it standout from any other love story is that it consists merely of homosexual leads and acts is a grave misunderstanding of the film’s offering and an insult to one’s open mindedness.
Give it a try as it will prove your assumptions wrong.
Adele (Adèle Exarchopoulos) faces life troubles by acknowledging her inner awakening, her passion, and her shot at first love. She graces the scene with constant close ups, mostly marked by her eternal discontent aura — messy bun hair that seem unwashed, unbrushed, and mouth often open, depicting mostly a baffled enigma. Adele displays an immense sensibility and an overwhelming vulnerability that one may find herself relating to the mysterious aura surrounding the lead as she discovers further into the unknown. One day she stumbles upon a woman with blue hair, Emily (Léa Seydoux), who gives back a return gaze seeming to give the audience a promise. From that moment on, the blue-haired woman started haunting Adele in both real life and dreams.
Blue draws a bold definition of what is right and what is wrong according to current societal norms. But more than the checklist they need to qualify in order for the society to fully accept, it is an honest representation of a homosexual couple and the problems that occur to them that are similar to what heterosexual couples encounter.
In a time where gay marriage is controversial not only in France but also in most parts of the world, there could be no better time than now for a film like Blue. What sets it apart is not only its controversial seven minute visually graphic sex scene, which bared the soul of the characters, but also the struggles of maintaining a relationship and the pressure of the judging crowd like as if you were born to please everybody.
At the end of the day it shows you that two people, no matter what their gender preference is, can ultimately be head over heels with each other and can be miserable, too, without the other. Just like any other couples, they fight, they argue, they dream, they make up, they break, and they fall apart. It touches on the familiar joy and tragedy of first love -an example of intrinsic empathy common to all of us, showing that the two leads are normal and it is only the society’s perception that makes them otherwise.
What makes this film beautiful is the underlying message it gives off more than the superficial controversial scenes it offers. After all, discovering something worth fighting for is really something that shouldn’t, even if it can, make you feel blue, isn’t it?
Watch the trailer HERE.