Blue is the Warmest Color (2013): Tunisian-French filmmaker Abdellatif Kechiche's Palme d’Or winning film

A portrayal of homosexuality like never before

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

Blue is the Warmest Color, Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013 Palme d’Or winning film, starring Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Salim Kechiouche
Blue is the Warmest Color (2013) By Abdellatif Kechiche
IMDb Ratings: 8.1
GenreDrama | Romance
CastLéa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Salim Kechiouche
Country: France | Belgium | Spain
Language: French English
Runtime: 179 min

Summary: Adele's life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire, to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adele grows, seeks herself, loses herself and ultimately finds herself through love and loss.

This year’s Palme d’Or winner "Blue is the Warmest Color" made the most noise on the box-office but perhaps for the wrong reasons. The film is loosely based on Julie Maroh’s graphic novel "Le bleu est une couleur chaude" (Blue Angel). The director of the film, Abdellatif Kechiche, claims that it was really more of a combination of the graphic novel and a concept he had in mind. In the graphic novel the characters were Clementine, a 15 year old girl exploring her sexuality and Emma, a 4th year student of Fine Arts who had already gone through a breakup in a lesbian relationship. Abdellatif, however, has replaced the name Clementine in his film with "Adèle", meaning "Justice" in Arabic. According to the director it helped Adèle Exarchopoulos merge with the character, and also the name’s light, ethereal nature appealed to him. At the beginning of the film we see Adèle fall for a senior guy in High School but it changes when she sees Emma.

Adèle Exarchopoulos as Adèle in Blue is the Warmest Color, Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche
Adèle Exarchopoulos as Adèle
As the film progresses we see Adèle meet Emma at a gay bar and thus starts the beginning of a new adventure. Blue is the Warmest Color is probably the first film that has portrayed homosexuality in such a way. The director doesn't play any tricks with us, he is just saying to us: "Watch, this is the reality, there is no pretense". Kechiche takes the camera inside the girls’ bedroom unhindered and shows us the reality and actuality of what happens. Throughout the entire film the camera is fixed on Adèle's face, it’s like the director is almost obsessed with that face. Kechiche describes in his Cannes interview that he picked Adèle for the character the first time he saw her in the audition. Kechiche says, "I had taken her for lunch at a brasserie. She ordered lemon tart and when I saw the way she ate it I thought, 'It’s her!'"

Léa Seydoux as Emma in Blue is the Warmest Color, Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche
Léa Seydoux as Emma in Blue is the Warmest Color
The director tries to portray everything as natural as it is; there are no make-up artists, no costume designers, or use of anything fancy. Adèle Exarchopoulos says that if the director saw someone with a nice coat or jacket, he would say to give it to Adèle during the shooting.

Kechiche portrays the image of a free woman through Adèle  who is devastated but still strong, courageous and devoted to her aim. She works flawlessly as a schoolteacher even while going through intense pain. The color "Blue" has been used rigorously by the director and it seems to pop up everywhere Adèle looks or anything that is involved with Adèle  from Emma’s blue hair to the blue water where Adèle tries to drown her tears.

Léa Seydoux as Emma, Adèle Exarchopoulos as Adèle in Blue is the Warmest Color, Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche
A Still from Blue is the Warmest Color
Blue is the Warmest Color is one of a kind, a love story like no other. It’s about the emptiness you feel when you break-up, when you are all alone, about very simple yet truest of feelings.

About Author - 

Shiladitya Biswas is a computer engineer who loves to write in his spare time. He is very involved with art and literature. However, this is his first major attempt at film critique writing.

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