"37.2º le matin" (1986), known in English as "Betty Blue," is a French drama directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix. The film tells the story of the passionate but ultimately tragic love affair between Zorg, a handyman and aspiring writer, and Betty, a free-spirited and unpredictable young woman.
Plot and Themes: The story begins with Betty and Zorg living a carefree and passionate life in a beachfront shack. Betty's wild and vivacious personality is both captivating and chaotic, and her love for Zorg is fierce and intense. However, as the story progresses, Betty's mental health starts to deteriorate, and her behavior becomes increasingly erratic and violent.
The film explores themes of love, obsession, mental illness, and the fine line between genius and madness. It takes the audience on an emotional journey through the highs and lows of a relationship marked by passion, creativity, and desperation.
Acting: Béatrice Dalle's performance as Betty is mesmerizing and unforgettable. Her portrayal of a woman spiraling out of control is both sympathetic and disturbing. Jean-Hugues Anglade's performance as Zorg is equally compelling, capturing the character's devotion and helplessness as he watches the woman he loves self-destruct.
Cinematography and Direction: Beineix's direction is stylish and atmospheric, employing vivid colors and sensual imagery to create a dream-like quality that enhances the emotional impact of the story. The cinematography by Jean-François Robin is stunning, capturing the beauty and rawness of the coastal landscape and the intensity of the characters' emotions.
Music: The score by Gabriel Yared adds depth and emotion to the film, accentuating the sensuality and tragedy of Betty and Zorg's relationship.
Criticism: Some critics and audiences may find the film's explicit content and portrayal of mental illness controversial or difficult to watch. The pacing of the film might also feel uneven to some, with the narrative taking unexpected turns.
"Betty Blue" is a visually striking and emotionally charged film that offers a raw and unflinching look at love and madness. Its intense performances, beautiful cinematography, and haunting score make it a memorable and thought-provoking cinematic experience. However, its dark themes and explicit content may not be suitable for all viewers.