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Movie Review: Blue (“Three Colors” Trilogy) – Kieslowski and Binoche Combo A Go

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Blue is a true treasure of a movie. The story of a woman’s path through grief, sorrow, and self-discovery which ultimately leads to joy can be quite complicated for a film to take on, yet through Krzysztof Kieslowski’s direction, along with contributions from cast and crew, it is done quite smoothly to end up a splendid film.

The film is a record of Julie de Courcy’s (Juliette Binoche) path from anguish to joy. The film displays the back and forth steps taken when continually avoiding, dodging, and ignoring the pain and grief held inside for lack of self-acknowledgment. During her continual attempts at pushing pain away, that thing called “life” starts playing its dirty tricks by throwing chaos at the individual until there’s no choice other than to confront the ailment which lies deep inside.

In Blue, there’s a full picture of why the house of repression can only stand for so long. Slowly, but surely, death permeates your existence to cause you to ask questions … what is life’s purpose? … who am I? Blue vividly shows Julie de Courcy's path to true freedom, a life that is real, and one she can call her own.

The steps through the grey zones of grief are shown in Blue as I’ve never seen it done. Binoche’s performance holds the audience captive through this painful walk, brilliantly conveying the healing and ultimately resulting in the making of a masterpiece.

A famous musician once said, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” Slaying dragons within our past, Blue ties the audience into Julie’s denial. By ignoring her emotions, Julie comes close to death’s call. Sitting in a Paris café, far from her farm, life exists only in others. Life’s intentions amount to sugar cubes soaking up her morning coffee, day by day. Julie is gone.  There's nothing but a hollow shell sitting there, the only remains of her past life a blue chandelier belonging to her daughter.

Through the difficult, dreary steps of de Courcy in Paris, the film shows us that this path has the opportunity to lead to joy. We feel alive as she begins to ask friends for help, returns to the farm and reaches out to others; by confronting issues and facing her emotions held deep inside, Julie de Courcy shows us the beauty of the masterpiece her life becomes.

Experiencing a similar walk, I know the details of these steps can get ugly. Emotions roller-coaster to the point of hardly knowing who you are. Guilty of jumping onto different paths, hiding, reversing, oscillating to the point of even becoming a zombie, it is simply easier than facing the pain.

Hopefully, one goes full circle to acknowledging and accepting self. Through the mastery of Blue’s script, cinematography and Binoche’s performance, this self-discovery point of invigoration is experienced as Julie de Courcy comes alive in the film.

This path is not filled with beautiful-smelling roses. At one point, the film shows the ivy-colored stone wall causing de Courcy bloody pain, which she ignores, as we wince from skin rubbed raw on her knuckles and hand. This powerful sequence brilliantly shows the pain, sorrow, and fright/flight instincts she chooses to ignore when she moves to her new life in a drab Paris flat. We come to understand that running is not allowed. Ultimately, we must acknowledge what is inside.

“All good things, in all good time” so they say. And so the same can be said for the path to liberty. Liberty is something that takes its toll. Blue powerfully shows this through Julie de Courcy’s inner reflections, the lighting, the various mirrors throughout the film, and even the swimming pool’s water where de Courcy swims. There is a truly profound beauty in Blue, one which leads to the peace of mind that only freedom can bring.

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