AKA: La Vie d’Adele – Chapitres 1 & 2
Directed by: Abdellatif Kechiche
Starring: Adele Exarchopoulos (Adele), Lea Seydoux (Emma)
Country: France, European Cinema
Genres: Lesbian, Teensploitation
Plot – Spoilers:
Adele is studying literature at school and though she has a close circle of friends, she feels and acts like an outsider. One of the more coveted boys at school likes her and yet, Adele herself seems unaware of her beauty and appeal and goes through her days with a perpetual look of discontent. One day, she walks by a young woman with blue hair and fantasizes about her later that night. This opens up thoughts about her sexuality especially when she meets the same woman during a chance visit to a gay bar.
The first half of the movie builds on Adele’s curiosity, frustrations and eventual acceptance of who she is. In a way, we as viewers join in the understanding and acceptance. With that achieved, the latter half explores a relationship between two people who really are quite different with different ambitions.
Blue Is the Warmest Colour won the Palme d’Or and created history when the Jury awarded it to the lead actresses as well as the Director. And when you watch it, you’ll know why.
Emma sketches Adele on a bench:
The vulnerability in Adele as they are about to part ways is breathtaking.
Emma’s friends come over for a dinner party:
During the party, it’s obvious Adele is just not fitting in and the differences between Emma and Adele that were evident earlier, now become stark.
Where Emma savors oysters, Adele chews her food crudely. Emma is ambitious and driven, and though Adele has an artistic streak, she carries it lightly and has simple wants from life. Happiness to Emma is success as an artist while Adele is happy just being in love.
So when Emma’s artistic friends come over, Adele potters around like a cook and a housewife. And while she is far from stupid, she feels and comes across as the dumb, ordinary one among the friendly and complimentary, yet snobbish intellectuals. Eventually when Emma and Adele break up, you can’t help but feel Emma was just looking for an out, all the time.