Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Three Colors: Blue (Krzysztof Kieslowski)

Calm waters.

Even though I am clueless regarding Krzysztof Kieslowski's other works before I even laid my eyes on "Three Colors: Blue", and even though how frustratingly misleading the little summary on the back of the DVD really is, I still immensely liked the film. But not in a way how I may like a straightforwardly well-written film.

Deviating from filmic conventions, although it is in fact a very linear film, "Three Colors: Blue" manages to convey the deepest of emotions not much through storytelling but more through calculated camera movements and stunning cinematography (by Slawomir Idziak). And with that, the film has managed to make me appreciate its wholeness in much the same way how a beautifully experimental musical piece may capture a music lover's heart.

With a title that suggests immediate melancholy and visuals that further this emotional atmosphere even more, "Three Colors: Blue" is more of a mood piece than it is an immediate narrative. It is, as it flexes its finely-toned existential muscles, an emotional spectrum subjectively seen through the eyes of a middle-aged woman named Julie, played by Oscar winner Juliette Binoche, who, after being involved in a car accident which claimed the lives of both her husband and child, decided to completely remove herself from the life that she has always cherished and loved.

Starting her aimless goal by selling their house, all the other things in it, and burning the difficult concert piece that her composer husband has written to commemorate the unification of Europe but sadly hasn't finished, Julie rented an apartment in a not-so-affluent part of Paris and started to live her life in utter isolation, save for some slight interactions with other people here and there (with a young prostitute being the most notable).

But even though she wants solitude, there's Olivier (Benoit Regent), a colleague of Julie's husband, who constantly shows his love for Julie but is seemingly contented by the quite sad fact that he can only show it in futile admiration. But despite of that, he is always ready to support her in the midst of her emotional plight and is also eager to finish her late husband's concert piece. For a film (again, back on the DVD's summary fiasco) that has promised utmost 'mystery' and 'seduction', "Blue" is surprisingly warm and affectionate in its romantic notions and never, even for once, stooped down to an extremely sensationalist, 'sex for the sake of it' level.

The film is also quite rich in its visual interpretation of emotional alienation and frustration. With Kieslowski uniquely using sudden fades into black in scenes whenever Julie is met with the difficulty of answering questions that may unveil what she's really feeling at moments, and ingeniously injecting blue-colored objects to enforce the film's recurring color motif, "Three Colors: Blue", as it progresses, patiently develops into a purer form of art house cinema that criss-crosses between realistic human emotions and esoteric overtones.

Form and content, message and execution, these are the most basic requirements for a film to be considered as an artistic whole. For this film, Kieslowski balances both on a very thin wire as if a cerebral circus performer, seemingly experimenting as he paces along, even with one outweighing the other, but nonetheless, a walk that is not without a clear finish.

"Three Colors: Blue", as a whole, surely is a fine piece of foreign cinema that seeks to inform its audience that there's no such thing as a generalized emotional milieu for a certain societal stream. 'Existence is isolation', Kieslowski, in part, may have had in mind as he works with this film, but it can never be denied that he has created the film with a concrete glimmer of hope and a beautiful melody somewhere in his mind.

"Blue", the first chapter of Kieslowski's "Three Colors" trilogy, is a very effective drama film about tragedy and artistry. But more evidently, it is an ideal example of how brilliant the art of cinematographic composition, partnered with some achingly beautiful music, can really be when skillfully pushed to absolute perfection.


No comments:

Post a Comment

1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

Ivan6655321's iCheckMovies.com Schneider 1001 movies widget