Jacques Mayol and Enzo Molinari have known each other since they were children. They both love the ocean and they are both great swimmers but one is simply modest about his talents while the other wants everyone to know how great he is. After Jacques’s father dies he disappears and they lose touch. Years go by and Enzo becomes well-known for his free diving but soon he finds no challenge in his competitors. He wants to dive against the best and the best is Jacques Mayol.
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Le Grand Bleu was one of Lu Besson’s earlier films. It’s a beautiful, romantic, and thrilling piece - I would call it an epic love story. I have watched the film so many times I just simply can’t get enough of it. Besson is a visual filmmaker and this piece is a great example of his talent. He is known for his action movies like “Leon” and “The Fifth Element”, this one however stands out of the crowd and I would love to see him make more like “Le Grand Bleu” in the future.
Le Grand Bleu follows a man called Jacques Mayol (Barr) who has grown up in an isolated world where the ocean and dolphins seem to be his only family. The film starts when Jacques is about ten-years old, growing up in a little French village with his father, a diver. It is clear that he is quite the loner and spends time swimming and helping his father with his work. Enzo Molinari (Reno) is the same age as Jacques, perhaps slightly older, and it is clear that he wants to be the centre of attention. He always travels with an entourage and is ready to prove his many talents at all times. Enzo knows that Jacques is his only competition and always likes to challenge him when he gets the chance. Jacques is clearly modest about his talent and merely likes to keep to himself.
Johana Baker (Arquette) is from New York and meets Jacques while he’s working in Peru. Johana works for an insurance company and is sent to Peru to deal with some paperwork. The minute she sees Jacques, she falls head over heels for him. Their encounters may have been brief but Johana is smitten, so when she finds out that Jacques’s entered a diving competition in Italy she tricks her boss into sending her there for business. A romance starts to blossom but after time goes by Johana realises that Jacques’s only true love lies in the depths of the ocean. He is still that isolated boy whose life and love is “The Big Blue”.
What’s very interesting about this film is that it has an English version and French version. They were shot in both languages, which is not very common. I have to say that the French version would definitely be my pick, it feels natural and the sensuous language enhances the beauty and the tone of the film. The film is also beautifully shot, it is visually stunning and with places like Greece and Italy as its backdrop you can’t go wrong. The soundtrack to the film is soothing and magical that it lures the audience into the film’s world. “Le Grand Bleu” is an array of beauty from sight to sound to a talented cast and a talented filmmaker. This is a full package that will satisfy all your senses and if you haven’t seen it already well then I think you should go out and rent it now.