La Vie d’Adele Chapitres 1 et 2


2013, Abdellatif Kechiche 

A film that will leave you in tears, leave you smiling and leave you aching to watch more (despite the incredibly long running time of 3 hours), La Vie d’Adele is a masterpiece that explores relationships, love and loss. Adèle (Adèle Excharopoulos) is an introverted high school student with a boyfriend she happened to stumble upon, but something isn’t right. When she meets artist Emma (Léa Seydoux), she enters a beautiful and heartwarming relationship and the ripple effect causes her to find herself, and find out about others. Image La Vie d’Adele is in some ways an incredibly subtle film, and in other cases incredibly explicit. For example, the subtleties of homophobic culture within La Vie d’Adele show their true colours when Adèle’s ‘friends’ start asking why she was talking to a ‘dyke’ and accuse her of ogling them. The group is divided when Adèle responds to their aggressive verbal attacks with violence. In many ways, we see the distinct separation of Adèle and Emma’s lives when it comes to the acceptance of their relationship. Emma’s accepting parents with their oysters; Adèle’s family with their spag bol and “what does your boyfriend do, Emma?” attitude. We see the subtle maturation of both women throughout the film: Adèle appears to us as uncultured at first compared to Emma and Emma’s artistic friends who discuss Klimt and Schiele, whereas Adèle can only watch on in awe. Emma is initially an art student, who is not taken seriously by the older generation (such as Adèle’s father) and yet matures into a fantastic and successful artist. The way that these two women grow up together and then grow in different directions will leave you frustrated and upset – you want them to stay together forever despite their differences, but as harsh reality would have it, it doesn’t always go that way. Image The explicit use of the colour blue to signify Adèle’s happiness is also worth noting – as we see the blue grow out of Emma’s hair we realise that trouble is on the horizon (largely Adèle’s fault) and the way that she aches to be in the sea, her blue bedsheets, a blue dress tell us more about Adèle’s admiration of and love for Emma than her constant tears do. Image Of course, I couldn’t write a review detailing the subtleties and explicit scenes of La Vie d’Adèle without touching upon the explicit sex scenes of the film. The sex scenes are uncomfortable (when are explicit sex scenes not uncomfortable?) and I can’t help but thinking that they were used as a ‘shock’ factor. Although we do see the feminine form in all its beauty when Emma is sketching Adèle, I can’t help but think that the sex scenes were too dragged out, too long, too uncomfortable. For me, I would have felt awkward watching it with anyone else. However, despite the sex scenes, this film is a must-watch. You will find yourself immersed in Emma and Adèle’s turbulent relationship, feel their anger, feel their pain, feel their loss and ache for them to resolve their issues. If you’re looking to watch this film, it is currently on Netflix (I know right? I’m sure it only just came out in the cinemas). 9/10 Vocabulary: la chatte – pussy (yes, just like the english) une meuf – a woman, a girl, a chick (verlan slang) le graphisme – graphic arts les beaux-arts – fine art s’engager – to commit

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