I don’t think I can emphasise how much I adore world cinema, an innocent pleasure vindicated by the 1993 French film Three Colours: Blue. Starring Juliette Binoche, the film treats us to a dreamy snapshot into human remembrance and existence, forcing us to meditate on our own experiences of life. The intelligence and reverie that Three Colours: Blue exhibits should convince anyone how world cinema, dare I say it, is superior to most of the films produced by Hollywood these days.
Although I hate the fact that years of English and Drama studies have hardwired my brain to view everything as symbolically as possible, I will admit that the emblems and symbols presented in the film are simply astounding. What is particularly enticing is director Krzysztof Kieślowski’s ability to utilise symbols in not only objects and locations, but in film techniques as well. The smooth tripod movements and natural lighting emphasise our stability as observers of Julie’s story. I don’t intend to bore you with the multitude of symbols in this film, but I will mention perhaps one of the most memorable scenes in the film. As Julie swims through the ghostly blue waters of the pool, her introspection brings her to one of the core messages of the film - no matter how hard we try to suppress bad memories, we are inevitably confronted and challenged by our past.
Now, allow me to examine the story without a gratuitous analysis of symbolism that could make me sound all too posh. I think the film has a strong opening that is laden with mystery and coldness that conveys how we are both observers and participants of the narrative. Julie’s journey throughout Paris brought me back a feast of memories, ranging from the solitude within cafés, to inhaling the sights and sounds of Parisan streets, and ascending through the labyrinthine staircases of apartments. I should also mention that the relationship between the story and soundtrack cleverly represents the various psychological states of Julie, with the lonely piano phrases emphasising her isolation, while the pan-flute of the busker symbolises the mystery surrounding life.
Although I applaud the filmmakers’ exploration of issues such as solitude and suicide, the biggest let-down for me was the fact that the film had a slow pace despite its 94 minute runtime. However, if you consider yourself to be a patient movie goer, this shouldn’t be an issue for you. Despite this small crack in the armour, I was impressed with the cerebral, poetic and misty experience of watching Three Colours: Blue, and I found it to be a good film to end the week with.
Rating - ☆ ☆ ☆ ¾
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