36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
'L' amour in All it's Tragedy and Beauty,
This review is from: Betty Blue [VHS] (VHS Tape)
'Betty Blue', the movie that, as one reviewer put it,' sent shock waves rippling through arthouse cinemas everywhere' and introduced unforgettable 'Beatrice Dalle', a sort of modern day (though far wilder) 'Bardot', with an even more generous mouth. Who else but the French could pull off a film like this with such depth and style. An exploration of L'amour in all its beautiful and tragic complexities. Certainly to the faint hearted it may have seemed a little shocking. There is plenty of of full frontal nudity, both male and female (unlike the double standard in American cinema), and a very realistic sex scene to confront audiences in the very opening scene. But the erotica in this movie is really very natural with nothing perverse or kinky about it. It has an uninhibited earthiness about it that we have come to expect from French Movies. To others what may have seemed more shocking was the rather dark and depressing nature of the story, (if you haven't seen this movie don't go looking for a happy ending).
Director 'Jean-Jacques Beineix', in an article I read, said something like: that he dedicated this film to a generation of French Cinema watchers, who still believed in perfect love but knew it couldn't last. This indeed seems to be the underlying theme of the film, that young love and passion can't last, something has to kill it, you want to preserve it in time like a beautiful photograph or picture, before it withers or tarnishes. The sense of impending doom that hangs over Betty and Zorg's passionate and beautiful love affair, is present from the beginning.
The early part of the film is light and hopeful. When we initially meet 'Betty and Zorg'(who have recently began their love affair); she arrives, suitcase in hand, on his doorstep unexpectedly, where he lives in a sort of dreamlike,rundown, seaside shanty town, ready to move in. The scenes shot here are bathed in sunlight, clear blue skies and vibrant colours, to match the more hopeful mood. World weary 'Zorg', who seems content with his very basic existence, has his life quickly turned upside down by the younger free spirited and emotionally volatile, Betty. A beautiful raven haired, typically pouting and provocative French sex kittenish type. Betty soon discovers a secret collection of Zorg's writings, and becomes convinced he has the makings of a great author. The modest and more cynically realistic 'Zorg' is not so convinced. After being led by Betty to abandon their simple digs( in suitable reckless 'Betty' style) with the hope of finding publishing success and a better life in the city, Zorg and Betty embark on a rollercoaster journey that soon descends into much darker,gloomier territory. With each set back Betty becomes ever more disenchanted and emotionally unstable, and we discover, though the film never attempts to explain why, that she is infact a very disturbed young woman.
The film 'Betty Blue' has a very artistic,lyrical and poetic quality about it. Visually beautiful with one of the most hauntingly exquisite musical scores I have ever heard. It is one of those foreign arthouse movies that inevitably has now received cult status. There are many aspects of this film which you could easlily find fault in. The story(and characters)seem completely irrational and unbelievable at times. But the artistic cinematography,the unforgettable music of 'Gabriel Yared' and moving performances of Jean- Hughes Anglade (as the tenderly patient and understanding, though often bewildered,'Zorg')and Dalle as (as the audacious,strikingly sexy but unstable 'Betty'),all make this film standout. It's a love story as moving in its tragedy as it is in its passion and beauty, you feel so completely the very true and deep love Zorg has for Betty especially, she drives him to the brink with her behaviour, yet in a way re-ignites a spark in him and passion that was buried, through her love and belief in him. I must admit it touches the hopeless romantic in me, a cinema enthusiast, who also wants to believe in true and 'perfect love', forever preserved in time and memory.
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Initial post: Sep 17, 2009 6:45:52 AM PDT
Diane Neal Emmons says:
Good review; I couldn't agree more about the score.
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