‘Blue is the Warmest Color’ is a French Independant film that was released in 2013. It stars Adèle Exarchopoulos as Adele, a young girl growing up in Paris. The film revolves around her encounter with Emma, played by Léa Seydoux, a brilliant artist with a strong personality. The film hovers gently over these girls’ lives allowing the viewer to witness the anxiety, euphoria, and innocence of first love.
There are so many moments in this movie that strike my core. One in particular is Adele’s first kiss with a girl. Adele is sitting on the stairwell smoking a cigarette after class. She stares deeply ahead of her lost in her thoughts. Another girl comes out and asks for a cigarette. She obliges and they speak for a moment. As Adele watches another girl pass her by, the girl confronts her for checking out her ass. Adele denies it, but looks at her with such curiosity. She’s confused but she’s intrigued. The girl then begins to compliment Adele. Adele plays it off with laughter but she can’t help but coming back to her with her eyes. She begins to look down as she does not know how to respond. The way she stares into the abyss after the girl leaves is so vivid. I adore the way she walks back home; there is a calm flow to her stroll that is reminiscent of every single time I’ve walked away from an amazing moment.
I also adore the way Emma and Adele first kiss. They lay in the grass inside that beautiful park. Adele tells emma of her voracious appetite and how she cannot state the taste of seafood. There are these wonderful narratives that are peppered throughout the film. Emma introduces her to clam, there is socioeconomic distinction between Emma and Adele, The role of the color blue and it’s representation of both vitality and loss. A wonderful discussion on stories of youth and tragedy.
Adele’s acting is one of the finest works of art I have ever seen. I cannot see a whisper of the actual Adele throughout the film. I see a young girl faced with her first kiss, her first love, and her first loss. I see a girl walking into adulthood for the first time. What is more is I see myself in her. I can relate to so many of her most intimate moments. At the same time, she swims through a completely foreign world. A world I am incredibly envious of.
Walking through so many of these intimite moments with Adele, one cannot help to fall in love. It is all the more troubling because it is not the actress I am enamored by (though, I am enamored by her), it is the character. It is the girl who stares into the abyss lost in her thought. It is the girl who smokes and walks when she’s frustrated. It is the girl who eats chocolates when she’s sad. It is the girl who lost Emma.
Emma and I have very similar personalities. Emma pushes adele incessantly. She urges he to pursue her art. Adele is quite happy with becoming a teacher, but it is not enough for Emma. I understand why it is not enough. She wants to be able to explain the things she is feeling to Emma, but she cannot. It is also clear that Emma loves less. Even though it was Adele who cheated, the relationship was already lost. Adele’s infidelity was a cry for attention.
There is tragedy in life and the director makes it clear. With every injection of pure love there is the withdrawal that inevitably embraces us next. I particularly remember how the French-Arab at the end urges Adele to travel as a means to see the enormity of the world. The movie ends with her leaving early from the art show recognizing the finale of the relationship.