After reading and really enjoying the graphic novel of Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh, I decided to watch the movie adaptation, originally titled La Vie d'Adèle, as it was so highly praised. However, unfortunately, it wasn't really my cup of tea.
My main problem with the movie was that I didn't feel the romance at all. Perhaps this is because it's in French and is subtitled, but there's still body language and tone, and despite being in a different language, the acting should still have you feeling the story. Léa Seydoux, who plays Emma, was brilliant, and I believed her character completely, but I'm not sure Adèle Exarchopoulos is my kind of actor. She smiled some, cried a lot, but her facial expression stayed pretty much the same throughout, and to me, it was void of any emotion. I couldn't believe that Adèle was attracted to, let alone in love, with Emma. And when you can't believe the central plot of the story, a movie is going to fall flat for you.
I also wasn't a big fan of the sex scenes. I'm really not a huge fan of sex scenes in any movie; I would prefer it if the door was shut on the whole thing, but that's just my personal preference. The sex scenes in Blue is the Warmest Color are exceptionally graphic; nothing is left to the imagination, and to be honest, I don't think much acting is going on when it comes to the physical actions - rather than it looking like they are acting out certain sexual acts, it looks like they are actually performing them. And the sex scenes are so long, with the longest around seven minutes. I spent a lot of time wanting the movie to get back to the story, and wanting to feel something from the story.
When it comes to how well an adaptation of the graphic novel the movie is, for the most part, it's sticks pretty close to the story. This is the first graphic-novel-to-movie adaptation I've seen (where I've actually read the graphic novel, at least), so I can't comment on whether or not it does this well in comparison to others, however, I was left wanting. We don't really get inside Adèle's head like we do Clementine's, the character Adèle is based on from the book. There is no voice over narration, and so I was more emotionally invested in the book than the movie. I found I couldn't really tell what Adèle was thinking most of the time, but had a rough idea from remembering the book. I think perhaps the movie would have benefited from voice over narration - or at least my enjoyment of the movie would have benefited.
The ending strays quite drastically from that of the book. I was expecting a certain kind of emotional ending - I might not have got emotionally invested in the romance, but surely the ending would bring something out of me, especially with Seydoux playing Emma. But the ending was completely different. I was looking forward to that ending. I was affected only slightly by the lead up to the end, but was left thinking, "That's it?" when it did end.
Sadly, Blue is the Warmest Color was quite the let down for me. Really not my cup of tea.
Released: 22nd November 2013
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Starring: Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos