by Cyrus dos Santos
I turned my television on Friday evening to see our president addressing Americans regarding another violent attack against humanity. After reading all the recent online updates, horror was all I saw — a massive attack against a free society of human beings by monsters.
I was beside myself — for a long time I have been a lover of all things Parisian. As a writer, it has been a fantasy to one day live there and write in the same atmosphere that the ex-patriots of the 1920s and 1930s did.
After becoming almost comatose from the footage, I decided to take a different approach — I wanted to show my support. While browsing Netflix for French films, “Blue is the Warmest Color” stuck out to me. The winner of the 2013 Palme d’Or, the Cannes Film Festival’s highest honor.
Without warning, I stumbled into this art film by Abdellatif Kechiche, the film’s director, and immediately became mesmerized by the rhythm of the story. Unless you are fluent in French you will need to read the subtitles, a small price to pay in exchange for viewing such a remarkable film.
“Blue is the Warmest Color” is about the search for purpose, love, meaning and the frailty of such things. Adéle, the films protagonist played by Adéle Exarchopoulos, is a young woman when we meet her who is lost — there is a void within her soul. This void is filled by Emma, portrayed by Léa Seydoux, a woman about five years older who takes an interest in Adéle. The two fall in love and start a life together.
This is not a film for the closed-minded or the immature. It is a story of true love, and just how fragile it is.
The writing, direction and acting are all flawless. Not once did the bubble burst, the reality sustained throughout the three hours. It’s a commitment to watch, but it’s worth it.
My advice is if should you choose to accept the invitation, do not watch this movie with anyone who talks through them. You may become violent when they interrupt and your friendship will forever be ruined.
The artistic craftsmanship in “Blue is the Warmest Color” demands your complete attention, it is sacred ground. The French know how to tell a story. They captivate audiences with the rawest truths known to mankind — broken souls from love lost.
Take this film in, but be warned, come to it with an open-mind. It’s graphic, but it’s real. Vive la France!