Friday, 5 May 2017

Blue is the warmest colour (4 Stars)

Today is the second time I've watched this film. I wrote in my first review that I felt I didn't fully understand it, and nothing has changed. On the surface it's obvious what the film is about, it's the story of a relationship, but I can't avoid the feeling that the film's leitmotifs have a deeper significance. We see repeated close ups of Adèle eating throughout the film, often with the sauce smeared on her face.

Maybe the clue lies in the film's original French title, "La Vie d'Adèle, Chapitres 1 & 2", i.e. "The Life of Adèle, Chapters 1 & 2". The film itself shows no logical division into chapters. In one of the first scenes Adèle is shown in school learning about a French novel called "La Vie de Marianne", i.e. "The Life of Marianne". I know very little about this book, except that it's a life story that was published in 11 parts. Does the film in some way refer to the first two parts of the novel? I don't know.

It's a sad film. Adèle meets an older woman. They fall in love. They live together. They split up. Adèle never finds anyone else she can love.

I'm not sure how much time passes from the beginning to the end of the film. At the beginning she's in junior high school, which would make her 15 or 16. She says she wants to become a teacher and she'll need to study for four years. In the later parts of the film she's already a teacher, which would mean she's at least 22. This is when she splits up with her girlfriend Emma. The final scene takes place three years later, so she would be at least 25.

What does Adèle do for ten years? She eats and she sleeps. The film contains many close ups of Adèle's face as she lies asleep, but even when she's awake she spends a lot of time lying in bed. It's a beautiful film, but confusing. Unfortunately, the Blu-ray disc doesn't include a director's commentary. I'll have to look elsewhere for an explanation.

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