Blue (Trois Couleurs: Bleu) Movie Review
Watched again with a more mature and critical eye nearly 10 years later I didn't nod off, but impatient types will find the film slow and difficult, and to some extent, that's what Kieslowski wanted. Based on the colors and ideals of the French flag, Blue focuses on the idea of "liberty," though not in any political sense. Rather, the film tells a deeply personal story of loss and salvation, Juliette Binoche owning the lead as a woman whose husband and daughter are suddenly killed in a car wreck. Binoche's Julie then tries to piece her life back together -- not by visiting the past, but by creating a new future for herself, free from the trappings of yesterday. But of course, it's the past that refuses to let go, as old acquintances track her down and untold truths begin to surface.
Kieslowski tells the story from the perspective of Julie, which necessarily makes the film very dark and introspective. The director is fond of fading to black... only to fade back in again on the scene we just departed. He bathes countless images in his title color, its parallel to her mental state unavoidably obvious here.
In the end, Blue's story isn't a terribly ambitious one, but it's devilishly interesting and an enjoyable -- though tragic and morose -- experience. Kieslowski sets Three Colors off on the right note, a slow burn that will build to an explosive finale in Red, while giving us a stellar performance from Binoche to savor.
Now reissued on DVD, countless extras have been bundled in to make this collection a real treasure. Several featurettes and commentaries let the film student in you dig deeply into the subtext of Blue and its creators. There's even a Kieslowski student film to peruse, if you find yourself wanting to see a bit of the director's roots.