Director Abdellatif Kechiche depicts an achingly profound portrait of isolation, loneliness, separateness, love. “Adele” is seventeen, intelligent, inquisitive, conflicted; plagued by untoward fantasies; living with parents, ignorant of their complex progeny.
It is the twenty- first century, the parameters between naivety, childhood and carnal knowledge have shrunk, intimacy is the norm, expected, practiced by all over 16; dissected in flagrantly crude, clinical terminology; love, privacy, sacredness exchanged, replaced by sexual gratification, analyzed, as if discussing a gynecological exam.
Adele, a romantic, devotee of literature, meets mature, seasoned “Emma”, an artist; wise, proficient and confident in her sexuality; succumbs to “first love’s” abandonment; when all stars are in perfect alignment; one never forgets their first love; love that no one else in antiquity has ever felt; Adele’s love for Emma defines and regulates her life. Audiences experience their total uninhibited passion, desire for each other; for all of its graphic explicitness, it is not prurient, salacious; it is unselfish gratification of the beloved. A courageous feat by the actors and filmmaker.
Actor Lea Seydoux, the blue-haired “Emma”, is riveting as an emerging artist, a woman deft in the philosophy of Sartre, visionary painters: Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt; her sexual orientation is nominal in comparison to her ambitious quest for professional legitimacy; unrelenting security and strength lend tremendous credence, viability to the role.
Adele Exarchopoulos as “Adele” is exhilarating; her face a map of sensuality, perpetually kissed by the camera, every emotion blatantly, vibrantly displayed; her ten-year evolution from experimental, vulnerable youth to scarred, lonely womanhood (marred solely by unremittingly toying with her unwashed, greasy hair) is overpowering; the viewer is plummeted, wounded by her agony.
“Blue is the Warmest Color”, at its core, is a beautiful story about love and its transformative powers; some die of a broken heart, others survive, heartbroken.