Blue is the Warmest Colour (UK - BD RB)
Marcus watches two girls fall in love on Blu but does it provide warm colours?
School Girl Adele (Adèle Exarchopoulos) struggles to make a connection with the boys in her school, despite her inner group of friends acting so confidently about relations with the opposite sex. Feeling like something is missing from her love life Adele finds herself attracted to a blue haired girl as she passes her in the street and often thinks about her while alone. Venturing out to a gay hotspot, Adele tracks down the blue haired girl, Emma (Léa Seydoux) and the pair become friends, with an obvious attraction underpinning their friendship. Leading on to much deeper feelings and passions Adele finally finds that missing piece to her emotional puzzle but when Emma’s art begins to reduce the time the couple spend together Adele’s mind begins to wander elsewhere.
Blue is The Warmest Colour is a very personal feeling film. Director Abdellatif Kechiche opts for focused, character studying close ups pretty much for the entire runtime and his two lead actresses are more than up to the challenge as their performances feel utterly real and you can feel their desires and fears at all times.
The camera absolutely loves Adèle Exarchopoulos). She’s so easy to read within her quiet moments and even the smallest variation of her mood, or inner turmoil is clear for all to see. She feels extremely delicate, despite being led by her heart and when she flashes her wide smile, usually only in brief instances, she really lights up the screen. Léa Seydoux is very much the same but there’s a more careful nature in her performance. Early in the relationship there’s a real sense she’s letting Adele work at her own pace as this sort of relationship is new to her new young friend but once the connection is made, her performance changes to a more casual, confident approach and she’s feels very real because of it.
This film deals with same sex romance without pondering on it as an alternative choice. Sure there’s a bit of teasing in amongst Adele’s school friends and there’s a certain degree of hiding the girls relationship from Adele’s parents early on but these are passing things. This story is focused on love and the fact it’s between two women isn't really the topic of conversation. This is more about Adele’s journey. What she’s missing in her life, the passion Emma unlocks in her and the connection they make. It’s also about how a relationship can lose its spark and lead you into unexpected avenues and somehow cause a person to make devastating mistakes in process.
Blue is the Warmest Colour is pretty long for a love story (three whole hours) but none of this ever felt stretched out beyond its limits. Sure there’s a handful of nothing scenes in classrooms or quiet moments between events but they still all add up to support the whole. Because we’re so focused on Adele and because she’s so fascinating to watch even in silence, the slow pacing feels just about right for the mood of the story. When she and Emma get together, there’s a real buzz between them which suddenly ups the excitement and the extended pretty graphic sex scenes the pair share feel totally necessary to cement the connection this couple has as opposed to anything aimed only at titillating the audience.
The film has a crisp, often blue tinted image. The blue elements, whether costume, sky or general set design tend to build and build, in fact there’s a bit where Adele is wearing blue denim against a luscious green tree background that is almost dreamlike with its colours. Once Adele meets Emma these blues explode for a while, (especially in Emma's eyes) only to mute back down again as the pair’s relationship wavers. Detail is realistically sharp showing off real life with all its little knacks.Pimples, stretch marks, skin blemishes and different colourations, this is a presentation that captures it all.
Skin textures are very good throughout and further colourations such as rosy cheeks or red noses display the temperatures of the films locations well. Costumes all look full of detail in the largely naturally lit film and the directors love of the close up on character's faces give the film a lot of space for eyes and expressions to shine in wonderful 1080p. This is a near perfect looking Blu-ray and it makes for a beautiful look to the film.
The film is largely dialogue driven with the hum of life underpinning it. Surrounds are barely used for anything but fluttering ambience and there’s really only a club scenes that really lets rip with music but it’s not a massive step up, just noticeably more lively than the otherwise quiet film.
All of the dialogue is crisp and central throughout and never wavers in quality. The town around Adele is always buzzing but its never enough to play a part beyond bringing a bit of life to quiet scenes. Street musicians, passing traffic and rumbling buses all makes for a realistic depiction of town life but there’s nothing at all dynamic about it as the film does not require that sort of audio attention.
The ‘Interview with Abdellatif Kechiche’ (09:03 HD) mentions the graphic novel the film is based on and his road to making the film and the ‘Interview with Adele Exarchopoulos (07:36 HD) has the actress speaking some good English, which means we should start seeing her a little more in the future as I’m sure this performance will spark a whole lot of interest from film makers.
Rounding off the disc are Deleted Scenes (08:13 HD) and a trailer.
Blue is the Warmest Colour is a slow but very well focused film about a young girl falling in love and the passion and struggles that holds. It feels honest and complicated and the hype surrounding the film is much understood, even if I didn’t quite love it as much as I thought I would. The two lead performances here are fantastic and Adele Exarchopoulos is going to be an actress to look out for in the future for sure because to be this good so young can only predict good things down the line.
The disc looks fantastic, the audio is subtle but solid and the extras, while thin are a nice addition. Blue is the Warmest Colour deserves the high praise its getting even if it's a little looser than I expected, but mainly due to its three hour run time. and those who likes a good story told delicately should get a big kick from this one.
Note: The above images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over
Release Date: 17th March 2014
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 French, LPCM 2. French
Extras: Interviews, Deleted Scenes, Trailer
Easter Egg: No
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Cast: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Léa Seydoux
Genre: Drama and Romance
Length: 179 minutes
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