A hat-tip to love that cuts deeper than a Valentine’s Day card

Posted on February 14, 2018

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: http://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/blue-is-the-warmest-colour-talk-to-her-a-hat-tip-to-love-that-cuts-deeper-than-a-valentines-day-card-4350735.html

Every year, on February 14, we get lists. Ten Most Romantic Films of All Time. And so forth. But love isn’t always roses. In many films, affairs of the heart are closer to cacti, and the people aren’t always destined for a happily-ever-after. I’m thinking of François Truffaut’s The Story of Adele H. (1975), a romance so doomed, so one-sided that it’s a miracle Sanjay Leela Bhansali hasn’t optioned it for a remake. The lady in question is Victor Hugo’s daughter, who fell truly, madly, deeply for a British soldier to whom she was just another conquest. The affair becomes, in her increasingly fevered mind, a grand unquenched passion, and the story charts her descent into madness.

Consider the scene above, where Adele discovers “her” soldier with another woman. At the 1.25 mark, we get the faintest hint of a smile. This is not a “normal” reaction. The diary entry she pens, subsequently, isn’t “normal” either. “I’ve no more jealousy, and no more pride. I’ve gone beyond pride, but since I can’t have the smile of love, I condemn myself to its grimace.” Adele compares herself to women suffering in bordellos and in marriages. “They must be given liberty and dignity and thought for their brows and love for their hearts.” Note how she runs out of paper (the 1:45 mark), and looks around for something more to scribble on. She writes and waits, waits and writes.

We find another broken-hearted Adèle in Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013). She falls for a painter named Emma, who, during one of their early meetings, gifts her a sketch of her likeness. The scene I’m talking about begins at the 2:30 mark (above), and it’s almost as if the more worldly-wise Emma knows what’s going to happen if she allows herself to fall for Adèle, who’s just begun to explore her sexuality, which is still a… work in progress. Hence Adèle’s response to the drawing: “It’s strange, because it’s me and it isn’t.” Emma replies, “It’s a sketch. It needs some work.” Too much work, maybe? The almost-kiss that follows is heart-wrenching: twenty seconds of should-I-shouldn’t-I? from Emma, followed by a gentle peck on Adèle’s cheek. They should have left it there.

Continued at the link above.

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