Blue Is The Warmest Colour has been on my ‘must watch’ list for ages, but I had actually completely forgotten about it until Ange and I sat down to watch Netflix and she reminded me. It’s three hours long, so we decided to press play with the intention of watching it in two halves if we were getting fidgety. I normally get quite bored during films as I hate sitting still for long periods, which, to be honest, I was expecting with this. But just ten minutes into Blue I was absolutely hooked and the time flew by in what felt like minutes.
The story follows 15-year-old student Adèle and her attempts to have a relationship with a boy, and confusion when she becomes totally infatuated with a blue-haired girl, Emma, who she spots walking down the street. The film follows their relationship and spans an entire decade, which might sound contrived, however it didn’t seem the tiniest bit cheesy, stereotypical or lame.
Both of us were almost in tears in the parts leading up to Adèle’s coming out scene. It was extremely relatable and I thought that actress (yes, she has the same first name) Adèle Exarchopoulos, was brilliant at conveying the confusion and emotions a lot of people feel at that time in their lives. As the film progressed and we were introduced to Emma properly, played by Léa Seydoux, I felt genuinely invested in the characters. I loved their relationship and felt like it was extremely realistic. It was almost like the same feeling you get while reading a book. I never feel like films really provide that emotional connection to the characters that novels do, where you just can’t put it down and can’t stop thinking about the story even when you’re not reading it, but Blue had that effect on me.
For those people who have seen the film or read about the hype surrounding it, you’ll know there are a few – some being quite lengthy – sex scenes in it. A lot of people have come out and said they were pornographic, that it seemed like a male fantasy instead of depicting what it’s actually like for two women, and even Léa said she felt like a ‘prostitute’ during the filming. Now I know my opinion is going to seem quite controversial, especially coming from a lesbian’s point of view, but I actually thought they were pretty good. I’m not suggesting that everyone is quite so acrobatic by any means (!!) however they did genuinely seem passionate and quite raw. Contrary to quite a lot of opinions floating around the internet, I didn’t think it seemed like a pervy wet dream at all. I mean yes, it was a graphic sex scene, it was explicit, don’t get me wrong, but it didn’t feel out of place, from a viewers point of view, at least.
I’m trying very hard not to give too much away here, but my favourite part of Blue was how it managed to show the progression and changes in a relationship, very much in the way they seem to go in real life. As things began to unravel, I felt genuinely upset and inevitably burst into tears and felt like a bit of an idiot. But when I turned around and saw Ange was in tears too, I realised I wasn’t just being soppy. It really struck a chord with us both. The ending was absolutely fantastic. I won’t say much other than that it was perfectly ambiguous. It felt disappointing at first, but after much discussion we both realised that it really couldn’t have ended any other way. I think that is what’s just so good about it. It’s accurate, and real.
I’ve read many reviews and interviews which discuss how both actresses were put through gruelling schedules and forced to do things like drink real alcohol, spent 10 days recording the 10 minute sex scene, and recorded one scene around 100 times for it to be deemed perfect. If these things are true it does put a downer on what, for me, is absolutely excellent. However, although it’s a shame that there is so much negativity surrounding Blue, would so many be compelled to watch it if it wasn’t for the press the film had?
Controversy aside, I thought Blue was amazing. Neither of us can stop talking about it! It’s the first time I’ve seen something that seems to actually hit the nail on the head when it comes to lesbian relationships. Perhaps I found it heart-wrenching because I can relate to it, but I honestly think that anyone watching this would feel the same. It’s gripping, realistic, and clever. If you can spare three hours of your life, watch it. If you can’t, watch it anyway. You’ll end up cancelling whatever plans you had after the first five minutes.