Monday, 31 January 2011

Blue Valentine reviewed

A review

I was a bit disorientated at first with Blue Valentine, as the film follows the beginning, development and the end of a relationship between an aspiring musician, Dean, and Cindy, a free spirit of a girl who wants to study medicine. The reason for my discomfort is that the story is told in the present and in the past, being difficult at first to discern what is what. However, after a while, something clicked in my poor head and all was taken in an easy stride.

Blue Valentine is basically a modern tale of hopes raised, hopes dashed, in a milieu which could be described as being in between white and blue collar background. As in many American films, the landscape is, to some extent, a dominant force here; I am not only talking about the wide scenery out there, but also a kind of a trashy one, as the camera lingers in the decor of the love motel blue valentine suite (although is given a different name, which I just do not remember at the moment), where the couple attempts to trash their differences and salvage what remains of their marriage, a marriage where she is going somewhere in the medical world while he is stuck in a dead end decorator job, all his ambitions to develop as a singer having gone down the toilet.

Michelle Williams gives a convincingly solid performance as Cindy, whilst Ryan Gosling plays the role of Dean with panache. The cinematography moves with confidence between the wide scenic shots to the claustrophobic setting of the valentine love motel, passing through the trappings of suburban America, while the camera close ups gives Blue Valentine a sense of intimacy, vital for the development of the story. However, I think that the script was a tad loose, present and past episodes of their relationship tends to blend in an undifferentiated mashmallow. It takes a while to disentangle it.

I was pleasantly surprised by Michelle Williams artistic development. Blue Valentine is a good film which could have been much better if it had been tightened up.

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