‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’: Celebration of Love or Porn?

Blue is the warmest color

Blue Is the Warmest Color in Abdellatif Kechiche’s world, despite the color being the base for “cool colors” from which hues are extracted to represent gray or overcast atmosphere. Picking “Blue” as his definition of warm is definitely challenging, as Kechiche’s movie not only plays on sexual identity,but love and coming-of-age. And garnered a not-so-well deserved -according to a lot of critics- Palme d’Or. Cannes’s prestigious top prize was presented to Kechiche and his two leading ladies, Adèle Exarchopoulos (who plays the movie’s heroine Adèle) and Léa Seydoux (who plays the mysterious, blue-haired Emma) by a jury headed by Stephen Spielberg. Even in getting the prize the movie defied tradition for the Palme d’Or is given to nobody other than the movie director.

Blue is the warmest color EmmaIt seems like a complex love-hate relationship has been formed between Kechiche and his two leading ladies. They already confessed to the director abusing them and pressuring them while shooting most of the scenes, yet they appeared cozy and at ease with him during the movie’s official screening at Toronto International Film Festival. The actresses, however affirmed the troubled relationship they had with Kechiche on set by stating that “Blue” would be their only project with the Tunisian-French director. The negative outburst however didn’t stop at that. Kechiche fired back at his two actresses, especially Seydoux whom he called a “spoiled brat,” almost bringing her to tears at a press conference with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Up until that moment, the angry accusations and feuds haven’t stopped with the two ladies and director making snappy comments at each other in every festival they attend or in interview they make. Apart from that non-stop drama, though, does “Blue” live up to its international hype?

Blue Is the Warmest Color (Adèle: Chapters 1 & 2) is a coming-of-age that explores love, sexuality and personal development. We meet 15-year-old Adèle who is studying in high school to become a teacher and who has doubts about her sexuality and is embarking on her self-discovery. Her journey starts -or maybe takes a different turn- when she meets blue-haired, mysterious, art student Emma. Their mutual attraction leads to a passionate, sexually-tense and exhaustive relationship. This movie is three-hours long, with graphic, explicit sex scenes, the first one in the movie being a 10-minute long naked scene which was described as the “the most explosively graphic lesbian sex scenes in recent memory,” by Variety critics.

Are the sex scenes unnecessarily long? The movie earned the dreaded NC-17 rating for its sexual content and yet Kechiche didn’t seem to care. As it opens in theaters on October 25th, many people will steer away from it due to its length and sexual content, yet that might draw a certain category of people as well. Despite the movie being described “long” and the sex scenes “too much” this might make for an in-depth analysis of a love story. The story being a lesbian one doesn’t make any difference than if it was a straight one, but it even creates an even more interesting approach to intimacy, for as these women explore their bodies and their feelings, we explore the relationship as if we’re living it.

The movie ends with us being exhausted ourselves, for this relationship takes us on years of development for both characters -especially Adèle- individually and as a couple. Through Kechiche’s visually brilliant cinematography, Emma’s blue hair stands out in every scene she is in, and part of that invisible warmth seeps into our hearts.

Controversial as it may seem, Blue Is the Warmest Color makes for a very important film, not just on the LGBT scene, but for those looking for an in-depth layering of a love relationship and watching great performances. The movie breaks many boundaries but it also speaks volumes for the virtue of patience.

Written by: Jaylan Salah

Blue is the warmest color movie review

Blue is the warmest color opens amidst a tense off-screen atmosphere

Blue’s leads reveal maltreatment at the hands of its director

4 Responses to "‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’: Celebration of Love or Porn?"

  1. Paul   February 9, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    The author of the graphic novel that was the “inspiration” for the movie said it all:
    PORN
    “a brutal and surgical display, exuberant and cold, of so-called lesbian sex, which turned into porn, and [made] me feel very ill at ease”

    Reply
  2. Kim   October 26, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Where is this playing in Pittsburgh, PA?

    Reply
  3. Salah Elgebily (@SalahElGebily)   October 25, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Amazing article, thank you so much Jaylan.

    Reply
  4. Mohamed Mosaed   October 25, 2013 at 2:14 am

    Nice Article

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.