This is an entry for The Colours Blogathon hosted by Thoughts All Sorts.
Interesting that that original plan fell through with White Oleander as the DVD has vanished somewhere in my house. It will pop up when I don’t need it. Going back, looking at my too long Netflix to watch list, it felt right to finally give Blue Jay a watch, a 2016 indie romantic drama.
Blue Jay (2016)
Director: Alex Lehmann
Cast: Mark Duplass (writer), Sarah Paulson, Clu Gulager
Meeting by chance when they return to their tiny California hometown, two former high-school sweethearts reflect on their shared past. – IMDB
Blue Jay is truly a unique experience. The way its presented is solely in black and white however it quickly becomes not so noticeable when the focus on the two characters, Jim and Amanda are so deep. Jim and Amanda both have returned to town and we quickly see the high school sweethearts go from the awkward meeting to revisiting their memories and from there the chemistry is feels incredibly authentic and we can’t help be wonder what split them apart. The film does answer that as well by the end. The film’s black and white doesn’t only focus on them but in between scenes will also switch over to the small town scenery: empty streets serene nature and the likes. This is a nice way to approach a transition as it takes us into simple natural beauty and lets us see the town and everything around them. They regard it once as a “shithole” when in fact it doesn’t quite seem that way.
As aesthetically pleasing as Blue Jay is made, the true gem here is the telling of the story between Jim and Amanda. We see them find the pieces of their young romance over 20 years ago. The awkward and weird parts when they were very different than now. There is something very believable about Jim and Amanda’s relationship. Perhaps its their awkward re-encounter of a first love, possibly the first true love that many say is unforgettable and will always influence us. The script takes a careful step to learn about them between their nostalgia and getting into deeper conversation of how both Jim and Amanda’s current life dilemmas are. However, there is an undeniable chemistry between them that is so real to watch come to life that it sucks us into their story, wondering why this beautiful couple split up. It is obvious that even they envisioned themselves together till they were old, making this relationship very much different from a high school fling but something made of true love and possibly the rare high school sweetheart stories that make it. The script also treads carefully to find the perfect moment to reveal the pain that has broken them apart.
Overall, Blue Jay is a rare gem in the romantic drama genre. It also happens to be a favorite setting of mine to be set in a one night period and very character-based. The black and white adds to the aesthetic and appeal of the film as well as the tone. It helps with the nostalgia that these two characters carry for their relationship. At the same time, these characters are deep and carry many layers. Blue Jay captures young love, memories, chemistry and loss so well and in a believable way. There are laughs and thought-provoking and emotional moments. Its definitely a must-see!
Thanks to Thoughts All Sorts for hosting this fantastic blogathon so that I could discover this wonderful movie!
Find more entries for this blogathon here!