Disclaimer: As a self-proclaimed feminist and movie buff, I initially felt the need to write a post dissecting and analyzing the film but as I was researching I came across Manohla Dargis’ NY Times article which summed up most of thoughts in an eloquent manner that I would never be able to achieve. So instead of analyzing the film, I would much rather express my experience watching it.
Earlier in the year I stumbled upon the trailer of “Blue is The Warmest Color” when looking up the movies that were going to be shown at Cannes this year. As someone who pays an above average amount of time reading film reviews and news about film festivals, I assumed that the trailer “Blue is The Warmest Color” was going to show a typical, dysfunctional, white, heterosexual couple through various wide angle, off center shots while a soft, melancholy score played softly in the background. Once I watched the trailer, I could not have been more wrong (other than the white part).
“Blue Is The Warmest Color” or “La Vie d’Adèle” (which is the original French title of the film and graphic novel that the script was adopted from) is a coming of age story where Adèle, played by Adèle Exarchopoulos, struggles with her sexuality and identity. Her brief encounter with a blue-haired woman, named Emma, who is played by Léa Seydoux , leads to an extensive and intensely passionate relationship. Through her relationship with Emma, Adèle is able to discover herself and experience the highs and lows of life and love.
From their first interaction on a crosswalk to their last in a gallery, I was attached to both actresses and their relationship in ways that I have never experienced when watching a film. It was as if through Adèle’s journey to finding herself and Emma, I was able to experience a life that was entirely my own and a stranger’s.
Their emotionally charged first meeting while crossing a busy street, reminded me of all the times in middle school when I hopeless glanced at girls wondering why I found them so intriguing.
When Adèle was attacked by her “friends” I was reminded of the fear that plagued me when I wanted to tell my friends that I liked girls and the fear that still follows me around my house as I tiptoe my way around my parents blatant naivety.
During Emma and Adèle’s first conversation and “hang out” I was reminded of the anxiety and adrenaline that rushes through me whenever I gather up the nerve to talk to someone I find attractive. (This rarely happens, to tell you the truth)
As their relationship progressed, from a casual fling to a full fledged commitment my chest and gut filled with feelings that I didn’t have words for. The evolution of their love and the depth of their feelings left my mind and body completely entranced as cried for a majority of the film.
Once the movie came to an end, I was spent. The chemistry between Adèle and Léa allowed for their characters and the film to transform into this entity that had complete control of my entire being. Like any great film, “Blue Is The Warmest Color” allowed me to cast my emotions onto it, while also having myself be reflected in the emotions that I originally cast out. Much to my surprise, the reflection that came upon me was the clearest I had ever seen, which in itself is a testament to the beauty of this film.
It was beautiful. It was raw. It was intense. It was everything that I ever hoped for, and everything I feared. Since my first viewing I have watched the film three more times and as each time passes, I become more enthralled in its webs.