Review: The Blue Room

This review was originally posted on Punch Drunk Critics

The Blue Room is an interesting and tense little film. It’s a film that really has a main character that is really quite standard now. A middle-aged man named Julien is in an adulterous relationship with another woman; living this double life. The film starts in the middle of the story, not in the beginning; and in a moment of passion a conversation happens, that leads to our protagonist in police custody. The film then goes back and forth as Julien is trying to figure out how he got to this point while talking to the police.  The thing that sets this film apart that makes it interesting to watch is the direction from Mathieu Amalric, who also is one of the writers and stars as Julien along with Christophe Beaucarne and Francois Gedigier (the Cinematographer and Editor respectively) together through shots and editing that has the intent of putting the viewer in Julien’s mind frame. I must say they are pretty successful since it the film had me confused and questioning the situation just like Julien must have been feeling.

All the performances are really good and not to use a blanket statement but that’s about par for the course for me with French films this year. The run time is really short at 76 minutes and while that brisk pace works for me it may feel a little incomplete for some. Things are not nicely tied up like they are in most Hollywood films. While I thought the film was good and worth watching I can’t help but feeling a bit tired of the middle-aged man bored with his life or lying about his true nature and basically gets in too deep with a troubled woman who ruins both their lives. As I spoke of earlier this is getting to be a tired trope but I’m guessing it’s balanced enough so that your eye and mind can focus more on how it’s told, much like flipping a fairy tale in a new way.

I shouldn’t ignore the acting but being that I’m not that familiar with many of the actors in this film it’s like watching a cast of unknowns. All the acting is great. Amalric holds the film together with his performance never being unbelievable on screen as Julien, with his relatable performance drawing you in as his situation goes from bad to worse.  Lea Drucker and Stephanie Cleau both play off Amalric well as the two main women in his life. Both are on par with Amalric in holding their own on screen with him. He was able to do well with getting great performances out of them while still having to act with them. The Blue Room is very engaging and concise thriller something that works great for the fall season. While it might not be for those who just want to be entertained by movies it is a film I would tell people to take a leap on because it is truly a well-made movie.

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