Dragonknight’s review published on Letterboxd:
”I have an infinite tenderness for you.”
Abdellatif Kechiche’s revolutionary coming of age film and the unanimous winner of last year’s Palm d’Or is bold, beautiful, brilliant, bitter and of course blue. It thrives on Adele Exarchopolous’s miraculous performance and Kechiche’s masterful yet modest and controlled directing, it manages to create a memorable, sympathetic, totally understandable and at times lovable protagonist whose challenges, triumphs and failures engage viewers so that for almost 3 hours we passionately follow Adele as she moves back and forth between euphoria and misery, elation and despair.
Based on the graphic novel of the same name it tells the same old story: the bittersweet story of a young individual’s woes and joys as she is leaving her childhood behind and entering the world of adults and her search for happiness, meaning and the right path. But what makes Blue Is The Warmest Color different is the setting of the story and the issue it is addressing (and I think the film is a bit overrated perhaps because of its controversial subject matter).
In the first chapter we see that Adele’s search for happiness and love is somewhat sexually driven, it’s not a surprise that all the explicit sex scenes are condensed in the first chapter, the physical pleasure is the only way of achieving happiness for Adele and her older friend Emma, or as Adele wisely puts it: “orgasm precedes essence.”. Adele is not mature yet, she can’t think brightly, reaching orgasm is the most important thing for her or at least what the film shows is that for her it is only the sexual aspect of a relationship that matters.
In the second chapter Adele is older and she is able to think more maturely, for her a relationship is now more about the mental and emotional satisfaction, now that she is sexually satisfied she can focus on a more stable and more peaceful life, this maturity is what takes Blue Is The Warmest Color to another level, till now its depiction of homosexuality wasn't much different from what we have seen previously in movies, two lusty people who are only thinking about their physical pleasures. But second chapter’s overall tone is something quite novel. A sympathetic and kind of romantic picture of homosexuality.
Much has been said about the explicit sex scenes of the film, although I understand that when someone’s making a movie about two people who are sexually attracted to each other he needs to show things which may make some people feel a little bit uncomfortable, but why Kechiche decides to show us those scenes with such detail? That is a question that I still haven’t found an answer for. I think you can completely remove two of the scenes and you can cut parts of the main scene without damaging the integrity of the film.
Without a shadow of a doubt Blue Is The Warmest Color is the most controversial film of the year, perhaps it is because of those issues that it’s getting much attention. Although it is not a completely flawless work but no one can deny that Kechiche’s film is a very powerful study of human soul and a very well-written and daring film that doesn't sentimentalize its characters and has two of the best performances of the year. An unforgettable film about loneliness, love, failure and mankind’s mental and physical need for a partner.