Blue is the Warmest Colour – Kechiche isn’t filmmaking, he is creating magic

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MOVIE REVIEW

Blue is the Warmest Colour
Wild Bunch, Quat’sous Films, France
179 Min
2.31:1
UK Release: 22nd November 2013

DIR Abdellatif Kechiche
EXEC Abdellatif Kechiche, Vincent Maraval, Brahim Chioua
PROD Geneviève Lemal, Olivier Théry-Lapiney, Laurence Clerc
SCR Abdellatif Kechiche, Ghalya Lacroix, Julie Maroh
DP Sofian El Fani
CAST Adèle Exarchopoulos, Léa Seydoux, Salim Kéchiouche, Mona Walravens

You could write a million words about this film and there would still be room for interpretation. Indeed, it has pinned many controversial talking points across the web, most notably around French-Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche’s portrayal of sexuality. It is by far the director’s richest film yet and he hasn’t showed any signs of retreating to safer grounds after his setback in 2010 with Black Venus.

The film is ultimately a coming of age drama with emotional setbacks. It doesn’t exactly sound new or daring, not even with the lesbian supplement. However, the films intimacy is epic, the performances are absolutely exquisite, the film feels unique in every sense of the term. Kechiche has a truly unrestricted perspective on emotional maturity. Critics have argued that a young curious girl wouldn’t jump straight into bed and perform ‘scissor-handed’ sex positions with another woman, and this is therefore detrimental to how lesbians behave. On the contrary, these are the characters; Kechiche gives a startlingly realistic portrayal of young desire and lust. The sheer notion of sexuality is negative, as one wouldn’t raise such issues against a straight couple.

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The films 3-hour length complements Adele in finding her sexuality, it couldn’t be any other. However, the time, almost magically, glides by the viewer and you are left eyes wide open, enlightened, yet surveyed of your moral codes. A message underlines the movie, that you should not judge someone by who they are or the way they look. For example, the blue-haired art student, Emma (Lea Seydoux) is a beautiful character full of wisdom and charm, but she may at first appear second-rate and atypical. Our heroine, Adele (Adèle Exarchopoulos), on the other hand, is friends with the ‘cooler’ kids at high school and has a customary presence. However, as soon as her ‘friends’ sight her lesbian inclinations, they bully her profusely, physically and verbally. Here, Kechiche is laying bare the realities and hardship teenagers commonly face in adolescence.

As the relationship between Adele and Emma blossoms, Kechiche skips forward a few years to show the couple living together happily domesticated. However, there is always a fragile sense of Adele’s struggle to relax into her sexual identity. The couple’s tenderness is unsurpassed, but social struggles interfere and Adele battles to conform to Emma’s bustling and articulate network of friends, alongside making friends of her own. There is an avid display of food, drink, art and culture on show, exhibiting Kechiche’s routes as very much a sociable filmmaker. It is remarkable how Kechiche managed to thread so many cords into one sweater with this film.

Blue is the Warmest Colour will place you under its spell and the actresses will present to you a new realm of the magnificent performance.

5/5 stars.

Watch the trailer below:

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