Blue is the Warmest Color, dir. Abdellatif Kechiche (2013)
To be an intimate witness, to such an intensely passionate, erotic, romantic, and consummate love between two people is a privilege. To be the voyeur of Kechiche’s filmmaking, and Exarchopoulos’s and Seydoux’s extraordinary performances, is rare. Blue is the Warmest Color is an artwork that is transcendent in every sense; as a story of love that isn’t bound to its time or even to its country. Adele’s story is, I believe, one that is universal, resonant, and true. True in her sexuality, her melancholy, her voracity, her vulnerability, her naivety; through solitude, love, and through heartbreak. While it runs for 3 hours, and spans roughly 5 years of life, at moments it can feel intensely drawn out, and at other times, not drawn out enough. It’s nonetheless captivating, and at its end, I found myself sighing from relief, but also, perhaps perversely, wondering if there could’ve been more.
With an extremely short shot scale of mostly close ups to medium shots, Kechiche’s direction is a lecherous gaze that never abandons its protagonist—when it does for a few seconds, we’re almost immediately discombobulated. This is unmistakably La Vie D’Adele (the french title, translated as The Life of Adele). We’re privy to every nuance of Adele’s face; whether it’s through her tears, her laughter, her rage, or her orgasm—we’re relentlessly given every inch of her mind, body, and soul. Kechiche equates the three disparate vessels and weaves sex, emotion, love, as being intrinsic to life. And it is. Although Kechiche inundates his audience with long takes of inconsequential scenes (and perhaps this is arguable), it is fundamental to the essence of narrating this woman’s life. We are each filled with all kinds of memories, and Kechiche has crafted an explicit and genuine film that knows no bounds in reminiscing the memories that inhabit his characters.
Blue paints the canvas of every frame in this film, and it’s mesmerizing as both a symbolic and aesthetic motif. From Emma’s blue hair, to the blue smoke, to the blue denim, and to Adele’s final blue dress, Blue is the Warmest Color is vivid and nothing short of being a spectra of colours; in its raw human psyche and in its filmic cinematography.
There is so much that could be discussed and contended, on such a dense and contentious film. But I think I’ll end off with my sincerest sentiment on the film. Blue is the Warmest Color is a story that recognizes the immensity of love (as if the word itself does it no justice) and portrays it with an utmost deep admiration and respect to: the solitude that precedes love; the unimaginable presence of love; and the unnerving fear of loneliness without love in the future. Nothing else matters but love in this film; it’s beautiful.
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