Blue by Krzyszstof Kieslowski (1993) is the first of the Three Colours trilogy, with each installment loosely based on an ideology represented by a colour on the French flag, Blue’s central theme is Liberty. The protagonist, Julie, after losing her spouse and child in a tragic car accident, wishes to disengage herself from all her connections, and cut herself off from the world, in order to achieve some semblance of freedom.
With Blue being the first of the series, its major themes of suffering and recovery, “loss and regeneration”, coupled with an underlying current of suppressed sorrow, sets the tone and gives a somber introduction to Kielowski’s serious style. Such moral gravity, combined with the suspense in Blue’s story “has an allure that can keep an audience in awestruck thrall”. (Jonathan Romney, krzyszstof Kieslowski-Interview for three colours blue) In spite of this, the waters Blue navigates are less dark than say, A Film about Killing–Kielowski’s earlier work in1988.
Blue of course represents misery, so right from the start that is a fascinating juxtaposition with the ideal it’s supposed to symbolize: Liberty, which often has more blissful, positive connotations. But this film is largely devoid of cheer, though there is some form of resolution in the end-despite it not being the conventional saccharine happy ending Hollywood shovels out all the time.
The Polish director has experimented with using film to embody concepts before, as he did in the purely Polish series Decalogue, which featured 10 fiction films loosely connected and based off the 10 commandments. (Jonathan Rosenbaum, Eurofilm:Kieslowski’s Blue) There is a similar lack of clarification in the titles, which are named only by number; Decalogue One, Two, etc (Wikipedia). Throughout Blue, Kieslowski has the same knack for keeping things mysterious with a superb use of subtlety in the narrative.
, Kielowski prefers to leave us with an unsettling feeling of ennui, more vague guesses and varied interpretation than any solid suggestions.. As he has said himself ‘My part of the work is to make the film. Your part is to find something in the film, or perhaps not. For me it’s always important to hear viewers’ interpretations. They turn out to be very different to my intentions. I don’t hide my intentions. I speak about them – but not about my interpretations.’ (Krzysztof Kieslowski-interview for Three colours Blue)
Juliette Binoche is an incredible actress, delivering that desperate desire for distance and emotional apathy we all must have longed for at some point in our lives when feeling nothing, ironically, feels better than feeling all the anguish , stress and tension. The reason I used a balloon is because it seems her character, Julia, desires nothing more than to float through life, untouched. However this balloon also embodies a sense of repression; although it seems to be filled with nothing but air, eventually suppressing it all will cause it to burst out, or in Julia’s case-break down, as we see her weeping at the end of the film.
Romney, Jonathan. Krzysztof Kieslowski-interview for three colours Blue. 2011 [online] Accessed 24 June.
Rosenbaum, Jonathan. Eurofilm [Kieslowski’s Blue]. 1994. [online] Accessed 24 June.
Wikipedia. Decalogue. [online] Accessed 24 June.
About the Author: Ilene is a writer who is gradually understanding Polish names a bit more.
(This is a restored version. All credit goes to Ilene Fong. Her post was deleted so I restored it for her. – Jasper)