‘Blue is the Warmest Color’: Raw, Honest and Stirring

Adele Exarchopoulos Lea Seydoux

There are films which are so honest in its rendering that you seamlessly find yourself submerged into the story without realizing that you are watching just a cinematic fiction, and not a reality. ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’ with its rawness and honesty epitomizes such rare breed of films. Though, having known that it won Palme D’Or [the highest film-making prize at Cannes] last year, does set you expectations high, but thankfully ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’ meets all of them and sets its own high standards.

At its heart, ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’ is a beautiful, yet painful, love story. In other terms, it’s passionate film-making about a passionate love affair. And not just love affair; ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’ is also about love and its anxieties, and the pain of a parting ways. When the film could have so easily been a heterosexual love story between a boy and a girl, director Kecheche instead by choosing to show two women in love with each other chose a more daring route, which ultimately also turned out to be a more rewarding one. Kecheche, most of the time, takes close and focussed shots of both his leading ladies capturing every emotion, every blink of an eye, every drop of a tear; basically, he wants you to be as close to what his characters are feeling as possible.

‘Blue is the Warmest Color’ explores sexual awakening like no other film ever has. In Adele (Adele Exarchopoulos), the film finds a central character who is young and vulnerable, but at the same time inquisitive and willing to go all out for love. And the film wouldn’t have been the film it is, without its lead Adele Exarchopoulos’ performance. She lays everything bare — physically and spiritually.  The complex portrayal of Adele, a sixteen year old girl who goes through sexual awakening and at the same time comes of age would have been far from an easy job. And that’s why in my opinion, she delivers by far and by a distance the best female performance of 2013. Her co-star Lea Seydoux is brilliant too, as Emma, descending effortlessly into the alpha-female character. It’s a pity that film didn’t compete in the Best Foreign Language Oscar last year.  It might very well could have won.

The best aspect of ‘Blue is The Warmest Color’ is its intense, intimate conversations, especially the raw and binding confrontations between Adele and Emma.  While, I know many didn’t particularly like the climax, I found it to be the best way the film could have ended. The ending leaves you stirred by its emptiness and honesty and the hope that Adele has moved on to better things.

The much hyped 12 minute sex scene is sensually shot and a little more stretched than required, still, it’s innocuous to the proceedings of the film. Possibly, unnecessarily long, but then, in a film about love, passion and sensuality it is rather imperative to have an authentic love-making scene.

Overall, it’s a film that, if you can sit through, will leave an indelible impression on your mind, which might last for days, if not weeks.