I realize that I’m a little late on the bandwagon and know that this movie has gotten a ridiculous amount of praise, so I guess I’m going to have to be the unpopular one.
I wanted to love this movie. I wholeheartedly wanted it to blow my mind and rearrange everything I thought I knew about film, but it did not. I can say it’s an epic love story because it ends like so many do, but unfortunately I can’t say that it’s a completely accurate one because this is a lesbian love story told through a heterosexual male lens. And that, my friends, is a problem.
As I am a straight female, I cannot say how valid the dynamics were between the two female leads. What I can say is that this film was adapted, produced, and directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, which I believe was a huge factor in the sex scenes. They should have been honest representations of relations between two women. Instead, they were every straight man’s fantasy and both idealistic and discouraging in nature. By presenting the audience with two thin, white, attractive, homosexual women in such an erotic light, Kechiche seems to glorify and normalize the idea that sexual expression between two women in love is meant for the objectification of the male gaze.
The bodies of the two characters are contorted into positions that seem to satisfy the camera rather than their own pleasures. The lighting is purposely flattering and quite frankly, the scenes are pornographic in their nature and seem like they are meant to please the audience rather than tell a story. While I acknowledge that this is a problem in this movie, I realize that this problem is not limited to this particular film. The film industry seems to have a problem presenting audiences with scenes of sexual pleasure that are realistic in nature. Some films, though not many, are the exception to this. That being said, Blue is the Warmest Color does include scenes of oral sex on women, which is usually cut out of movies (as our lovely feminist friend Ryan Gosling has accurately pointed out).
I will say that I believe this movie identifies a typical end to a relationship: one party moves on while the other cannot. That is something universal, that anyone can identify with, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. That aspect of the film is brutally communicated and the acting is quite good. It showcases many reactions from the main characters and people close to them regarding sexual orientation, which I believe is important to the nature of the story.
In conclusion, I would label this film as a true love story. It doesn’t end happily for both characters or give the viewers hope. It does show the true dynamics of two people who feel very deeply for each other, even after the relationship has met its unfortunate end. And while I don’t think that the sexual aspect is accurate, I do believe that all three hours of the movie are worth watching.