Blue (1993) - Weasello Rating: {>>>>} (Awesome!) {{ Sequel }}
Please note that this review is laden with spoilers.

Body count: A common thread to my movie reviews is a body count. For compatabilities sake, I recorded 2 dead bodies in this movie. Not actually pictured, nor is the death televised, but it is implied and caskets are seen. No blood, no gore - the worst of this movie is some baby mice.

Outline: Blue is a movie that my girlfriend was recommended by a fellow video-store-goer. This particular movie was the winner of Best Picture and Best Actress (Juliette Binoche) at the 1993 Venice Film Festival. But more importantly, this is the first movie of a trilogy - "Three Colors." Other movies in the trilogy are White and Red; when all three colors are put together, they are the colors of the French flag. Each movie is associated with the corresponding meaning of the flag's colors; The origional (and region-specific title) to this movie is "Trois couleurs: Bleu," but in it's many translations and releases it has several somewhat similar names.

The best plot summary I can muster with my own words doesn't compare with what comes from the back of the box. Paraphrased: "Julie (Juliette Binoche) is devastated when both her husband, an internationally renowned composer, along with their young daughter, are killed in a car crash. Her husband's work in progress, a concerto celebrating the unification of Europe, remains unfinished.

In an attempt to go forward with her life, Julie destroys her husband's unfinished work, puts her mansion up for sale, and buys herself an apartment in the slum district of Paris where she plans to quietly live out the remainder of her life.

She is able to return to living when she allows music to protect her from the fear she feels, from loneliness.
" Liberty.

My Opinion: When my girlfriend brought this movie home with her, I noted the French subtitles and the foreign origin, and rolled my eyes. This movie was going to be a horrible romantic comedy.

Oh. My. God. This movie is possibly the best movie ever made of all time, ever, plus ten. I have never under-estimated a movie to this extent ever before. The artistic brilliance of the director, editor, and music/sound persons... Just.. oh my god. They simply combine to create a veritable orgy of goodness.

The basic premise is a lot more complicated than the plot description leads you to beleive. "Renowned composer" isn't really doing the fellow justice - this composer, Patrice, is the husband of the main character. He also received a televised funeral and buskers play his music in the streets. This is one serious composer. I would place him in league with the classic masters, such as Bach or Chopin and the like. An interesting twist is put on this, however; Julie secretly wrote his concertos for him.

To further complicate this relationship, Patrice had a mistress of several years. Obviously the composer was not happy with his relationship with his wife, but at the same time he knew he could not profesionally survive without her. The secret tryst is once again complicated further as the mistress becomes pregnant with Patrice's child, and is found out by Julie after Patrice's death.

It reads like a soap opera, but trust me, it works. The tension between the "love triangle" is perfectly balanced and adds a third (or fourth, maybe fifth) dimension to the movie's enjoyability. Even Julie's reaction to learning all of this isn't the stereotypical hysterical woman; the acting is amazing.

The main feature of this movie is not plot nor special effects nor action sequences; instead, the whole movie's greatness relies on the artistic content, expressed both by music and by lighting. Nearly the entire movie is shrouded in shades of blue at strategic (and very artistic times), and the music is beautifully and wonderfully played at appropriate times.

O-Swirl made a brilliant statement in his writeup on this movie; "Another example of this {fantastic use of the color blue} is the pool Julie swims in once she moves out of her home. Pools are normally blue, but the incredible luminous color in this pool appears abnormally bright. The utilization of the color here directs the viewer to scan the two-dimensional space and notice how powerfully it fills the frame. Here, Julie essentially bathes in the tragedy, still swimming in the pain of the accident." This is just one example of the artistic use of colors.

The music, in my opinion, surpasses the impact of the color. At points the screen blacks out and the music perfectly defines what Julie is feeling emotionally - anger, frailty, sorrow, happiness, and more. The screen then fades back in and the film proceeds as normal, now having set the tone for you. These short music clips, mere seconds long, speak volumes about the mood and the emotions that Julie is feeling... More than any acting or narration could ever do.

In addition, there are several scenes where sheets of music are altered, torn, or thrown away - as each of these changes occur, the music changes with it. For example, there is a loud marching score currently playing. As Julie strikes out the trumpet part, the trumpets stop playing in the music. As she replaces "drums" with "bells" you can hear the change take place. You can hear the music evolve, so to speak. Wow.

For anyone who likes a good movie, I recommend you to watch this. For those that enjoy visual and audio art, for the love of all you hold holy, see this movie tonight. 10 out of 5. 17 stars. 6 thumbs up. I would pay $10 to rent this movie. I would pay $20 to see it in theatres. GO NOW.

Lead roles: Directed by: Krzysztof Kieslowski

Writing credits: Krzysztof Kieslowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz

Tagline: Blue: Liberty
Sources: The oh-so-wonderful IMDB, my head, and the box. Special thanks to O-Swirl and his writeup of the same movie.