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The Blue Room

Directed by Mathieu Amalric

France, 2014

HOME, 10 September 2016

The Blue Room

You are confused yet compelled to watch.

There is too little information to make sense of the events that flicker by on screen, everything happens hyper-fast. With time, however, a pattern emerges; the fragments form a portrait. We see a weak man and a powerful, possessive (if perhaps not quite sane) woman: Julien (Mathieu Amalric: yes, he stars and directs) and his mistress. Before the heady poison of her forceful sexual passion he is a helpless pawn.

Simenon wrote the source story and while the film has been updated and looks wholly contemporary, still it bears his birthmark: the indelible stain of human sin. First principle: there is no escape and no mercy for anyone. You can see that everyone here is hunted or captive, caught in a trap. At the end it is Julien’s weakness, his malleable impressionability and lack of a strong moral centre that damns him.

Is weakness then a vice?