In my mind, most people automatically see things in black and white. Mostly rash, snap judgments that often blanket labels onto things to better identify them to others. The umbrella of “Rock” music has long been bands who primarily use guitars, and “Noir” has been riddled with femme fatales and a guy trying to figure out what has happened. These are broad strokes of what has the potential to be an intricate portrait, you just have to be willing to look into the details and subtleties.
What defines pornography?
To me, it is a question worth asking after seeing this movie, although I’m not entirely sure where my answer lands on that spectrum.
Blue is The Warmest Color is above all else a coming of age tale. It’s a girl who tries to find her footing in womanhood. Classic premise. Different execution. Adèle (played by Adèle Exarchopoulis) is a pretty book nerd in high school. Through her friends and a chance encounter on the bus to school, she meets a boy. Nice, right? While she is walking to the date, she sees Emma (played by Léa Seydoux), a blue haired pixie dream with a girlfriend draped over her arm.
Adele goes to pieces in the middle of the road. She is enamored and taken away by this girl, stopping dead in her tracks. She turns around and finds Emma staring back at her while she is walking away.
Two ships crossing in the night.
Obviously we know they meet again. Until that points comes, what is Adele supposed to do? Just say c’est la vie and tromp around with the boy from school? Or does she think about her chance encounter and try to find a way to explore that side of her further.
The importance of the sexual material wavers depending on who you ask, but I doubt that they were not done purely for the sake of arousal. I think that through most of the scenes, there becomes a sense of investment. I think that is what the classic hollywood love scene is supposed to do, but after these scenes I felt way more emotion about the bumps in the road and the mistakes they both make in their relationship.
Is it graphic? Yes. Is it realistic? Depending on who you ask, Yes. Is it unnecessary? I don’t know.
I think that if I saw the movie without those scenes, I still would have liked it. I would have probably still felt invested. The two leading ladies excel and the dialogue is realistic and awkward. But, with them I felt involved. It is emotional. The feelings they share and the problems they have don’t fall into a lot of the cliches of a romance. No one is running after someone else to profess love, No sad sappy emotional monologues about how true love can last. It is weighted and certain in the actions that each character takes.
In the end, I think it is important to realize how our youthful sexuality can define what type of human beings we become later in life. Who we are when we are fifteen and confused dramatically impacts how we react to similar scenarios a decade later. I think it is an interesting characteristic that this film explores, and makes this long movie worth a watch.