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Blu-Ray: The Big Blue


To most, Luc Besson is best known as the director of films like La Femme Nikita, The Professional, and The Fifth Element, but before he made all those exploderiffic action movies he made the film ‘Le grand blue’: The Big Blue.

The Big Blue is the story of two men who are united by the fact that they grew up on the same island in Greece, and by their love of the ocean. More specifically, Enzo (Jean Reno) has become obsessed with being the world champion free diver. Jacques (Jean-Marc Barr) on the other hand seems to simply be more at home in the water.

After scoring a large sum of cash, Enzo seeks out his childhood rival knowing that he is the only person capable of offering a real challenge to his world championship title. Enzo has lost none of the arrogance he possessed as a child, however as a grown man he has become far more charming and likeable. As adults, Enzo and Jacques remain rivals, however they also become great friends.

Rosanna Arquette plays the part of Johana, a New York based insurance investigator who falls for Jacques, but while their relationship appears to grow deeper, she is ultimately aware that her greatest rival for Jacques’ attention is his obsession with the ocean.

The blu-ray release of The Big Blue includes two versions of the film, the main feature is two hour and forty-eight minutes long, and a theatrical cut (running two hours and seventeen minutes) can be found in the extras menu. Fortunately neither version of the film includes the ‘alternate’ ending which was added for American audiences when the movie was released there.

Fans of Luc Besson’s action movies will either be sorely disappointed by this film or be completely blown away by it. Personally hadn’t ever considered him to be much more than an action movie guy — The Fifth Element is one of my favourites — but have now had to rethink that opinion based on this movie. This is a beautifully presented, sombre journey, which very rarely exposes its age (with the exception of a few of the power suits and big hair that Rosanna Arquette sports).

My biggest disappointment with this film was that Griffin Dunne had so little screen time. Horror nerds may best know Dunne as Jack, the corpse who haunts David, in An American Werewolf in London. Sadly he appears only briefly in The Big Blue, and isn’t desiccated or putrefying.

The Big Blue is a gorgeous looking movie that you’ll really get the most out of by seeing it with some who you enjoy discussing great films with at great length. It’s the kind of movie that will linger with you and bounce around in your head long after the credits end. [source]

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