4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Hold your breath,
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This review is from: The Big Blue (Director's Cut) (DVD)
There are three versions of this movie out & I've seen them all. Each one left me with a different take on the show. Not bad considering it's basically the same story & with the same stars. The Director's cut 168 min's, the French release 132 min's & the American release 118 min's.
It's a show done around the world free diving championships (meaning no air tanks but your lungs). I thought it would bore me but discovered that Jean Marc-Barr, Jean Reno & Rosanna Arquette (I like her) put together a fun, quirky & believable show. Marc-Barr plays Jacques Mayol who starts the show as a little French kid that likes to dive on the same island as Enzo played by Reno. Mayol's father is a sponge diver that dies picking sponges. It has an impact on young Jacques. Fast forward 15 - 20 years & Enzo is the worlds best free diver. He is not content however as his old competitor Jacques is not in sight.
We find Jacques diving for the sake of science in the Andes Mountains. The scientific expedition has had an accident that requires the insurance company to send a rep down to investigate. That's Arquette's entrance as Johana Baker a quirky fun lady. She is immediately smitten with Jacques & that begins the rest of the show that revolves around the three of them & the dolphins Jacques admires. Jacques gets involved in Free diving because Enzo has him located & big Enzo who must be first in all things believes he will successfully romance Johana. The competition for Johana & the free diving world record begins. It plays much better than it reads with interesting looks at the world of diving as a sport, as a living, as fun & as science. The world of human relationships isn't left out. The love story is from as slightly unusual aspect due to Mayol's character.
The American ending differs from the others but that didn't upset me. It wasn't that big a thing & I'm not big on the integrity of a storyline as I believe the rash of director cuts are more tied to ego than integrity. Their validity or necessity surely isn't much.
The Directors cut I thought a travesty of time waste so many of its scenes really served no purpose. The French version was a much better length but I thought it suffered from having the same score as the Director's cut. Done by Eric Serra (the original composer) I felt the music was unrelated to the subject of the movie. The American version was cut a little short but had a new score done by Bill Conti. That score was perfectly suited to the water theme & as the music is a large part of your experience I prefer it by a bunch. The American ending is over dramatic but I'll put up with that for the change in music. I really like this show & when it comes to mind I always hear the American score not the original. Sometimes change is good as they say. I feel you should watch both the French & the American version. The Director's is just not good film.
I give the Director' 2 1/2 Stars, the French 4 Stars & the American 5 Stars.
I'm rating all three versions together as 4 Stars. Take a look!