Blue Valentine is a study of a dissolution of a marriage. To the credit of the film’s director and cast, it is portrayed so realistically, that it almost feels like a documentary.
This Indie film, staring an excellent Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, with good supporting cast, is one of these films I went eagerly to see, sharpening my pen (or shining my keyboard keys, if you wish,) and ready to award it with 5 stars. But, to be honest, though I loved parts of it, the film as a whole, is not one I would recommend others to run and see, as is my 5 stars index indicates.
The plot intercuts nicely between a couple’s current shaky marriage and its more passionate and romantic earlier start. The story itself, though somewhat unordinary, is one most people in a relationship can relate to, at part, at one time or another. Yet, my main issue is not with the story idea but that ultimately, it didn’t make me care.
When I go to the movies, I go either for a reality escape (using a comedy, a sci-fi flick, a Western, a mystery or another genre-based film) or to, mostly in the case of drama, to get into the shoes of one of the characters, so I can have a glimpse into myself. In order to create such a transformation, the protagonist must quickly win my compassion of one sort or another. Blue Valentine moves slow, creates some empathy for its main characters, but does not reach that far into the audience’s heart, and not for lack of screen talent trying. It is an overall a depressing film, which is not an issue all by itself, but, lacking the personal reward one should receive for taking this painful journey, is not a film I can wholeheartedly recommend.