The Blue Room – Film Review by Frank L
Directed by Mathieu Amalric
Writers: Stéphanie Cléau (screenplay), Mathieu Amalric (screenplay)
Stars: Mathieu Amalric, Léa Drucker, Stéphanie Cléau
Julien Gahyde (Mathieu Amalric) and Esther Despierre, (Stéphanie Cléau) are on a bed making love. Although their lovemaking is passionate it is also furtive, indicating that they have responsibilities elsewhere. Rapidly it becomes known that each is married and is not “free”. They are involved in a tryst and she is the more single minded. Her marriage is to a dying man. His wife Delphine (Léa Drucker), on the other hand, is pretty enough and they have a daughter of about ten years of age. He also has a good job and lives in a stylish modern detached house in the country. His world looks more serene than hers. In their love making she bites his lip. It bleeds. It symbolises her power and his weakness.
The film cuts backwards and forwards in order to show that these two individuals have known each other since their schooldays, gone their separate ways and then through chance have met again. There is a magnetism between them when they are together alone. As the film is based on a story by George Simenon, crime is lurking in the undergrowth. The sequences of the crime story are revealed in various interviews by an examining magistrate, police officers, a psychiatrist and various witnesses. This also enables a series of minor characters including Esther’s mother-in-law to have their say. The suspense intensifies as the case for the prosecution builds. This formal process of investigation stands in strong contrast to the intimate scenes of love making. It is a juxtaposition that works.
In real life Amalric and Cléau are husband and wife and they jointly wrote the film script. Their intimacy on the screen and their need for each other is patent. It is understandable that each wishes to leave their current existence in order to find a new life. What is not clear is the lengths to which each will go to fulfil their dreams. The suspense of the story-telling is greatly enhanced by the fine musical score of Grégoire Hetzel especially the piano solo which accompanies the court room scene.
This film is replete with fine acting, intimate cinematography and a story well told. It is worth seeing.