Radical Authenticity: Some Reflections on Abdellatif Kechiche and His Films by Tome Loulin

By Tome Loulin

The purpose of creating a involved plot is, perhaps, to make people who see the film think deeply, about the complicated themes that often require more serious efforts to be made in order to demonstrate the true depth of a theme. Most of the films of Kechiche involve critical inquiries of cross class experience. In Blue Is the Warmest Color, the emotional span of the whole film is broad, giving audience a different sense of reality. From the first encounter between the two protagonists, to emotional sublimation and cumulation of their relationship and from the later parting of ways to their estrangement and entire separation, the film makes the viewer feel touched and engaged with a sense of being involved in this alternative world deeply.  

The whole film focuses on the irreconcilableness between two different social classes—working and middle classes. After watching the film, most of the audience could realize the theme that the ordeal between class struggle and love is almost eternally fierce. The film also makes people think deeply about the difficult circumstances sexual minorities have been facing for perhaps a very long time and the difficulty of inter-class communication because of its poignant and authentic portrayal of the lives of sexual minorities.

Kechiche said: class issues have always been the theme of his film." Adele (one of the main characters of the film) belongs to the working class. Emma (the second protagonist of the film) belongs to the elite group, and is very talented. Both of his heroines have their own ideals. The difficulty these two protagonists encounter at getting along with each other is the difference different social classes exposed. Because of the gradual emergence of this almost unbridgeable difference, their relationship eventually leads to a breaking point. Compared with class differences, it is even more difficult to understand each other. Same-sex relationships are more or less universally acceptable and understandable."

The main narration of the film is a more lifelike one, with some warmth and sadness mixed in the whole framework. The end of this relationship, a scene presenting Adele, the protagonist of the film from the working class background, walking alone in the alley, is the climactical point of the film. The mere thinking of the sharp contrast between the warmth of the past and the loneliness of the present, is already too tough an experience, let alone review it. Perhaps because people can more or less experience this kind of love - the complex feeling that returns and goes away like a lonely self-reploquise, it is a unique taste of sadness mixed with happiness.

There are some lines from the film that may resonate for people who share this feeling: "You can say that I am happy and confused during the time with you. I may be sadder than happy, but if God can let me choose again, I think I will continue to choose what I did choose, because... if there is no pain, there will be no memory." "What if there is no pain?" Then everything will be forgotten."

Perhaps happiness and sorrowfulness are as same as what his films had portrayed.

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