Blandine and Magalie are two young fifteen-year-olds practically inseparable in 1989. The first responds to the typical image of a studious and responsible girl and the second, a wild spirit. We meet them while Blandine is babysitting and her friend comes home drunk and wanting to dance. They dream of one day escaping to Amorgós, the Greek island where the famous film was filmed. the big blue (1988), by Luc Besson.
Over time they lose contact. Blandine is now a divorced and “stuck” 45-year-old woman working as an electroradiology technician and caring for a teenage son. One day, the boy comes across a CD of the soundtrack of the big blue with the name of Magalie and locates her mother’s old companion to help her “to take flight” and carry out that pending trip of youth.
The reunion, three decades later, will leave more than evident their differences and the occasional quarrel from the past. With the cyclades girlfriends getawayFrench filmmaker Marc Fitoussi wanted to “propose an optimistic film. It occurred to me that I could do something about friendship and I realized that ‘buddy movies’ always featured male characters, so I decided to renew this genre with two women. Also, I have always preferred working with actresses,” he explains in conversation with this newspaper.
I wanted to come up with an upbeat movie and do it with women. I have always preferred working with actresses
The film competed at the BCN Film Fest and was released last Friday in commercial theaters. Author of tapes like Copacabana, Selfies and appearances, Fitoussi says that in France there is a lot of talk lately about “sorority” but not so much among women as opposed as those reflected in the film. “What I was interested in showing is how they could harmonize and help each other -on their bizarre trip to Amorgós they coincide with the hippy character played by Kristin Scott Thomas- these three women with such different lives and characters and flee from such a cliché idea in the cinema that would be Blandine finding love. It seemed more appropriate to show how he could learn to reconcile with life through friendship and not just love.”
The director already shows these two “very different” friends in adolescence and believes that perhaps in youth “one feels seduced by what is different”, but after 30 years it is clear that they have nothing in common. “I have not wanted to judge either of the two,” he wields. The director sees Magalie as “extroverted to the point of immature character in her, that she’s opposed to a good, sad Blandine. I think the two of them can learn to respect each other.”
This late reunion comes from the hand of Blandine’s son and the use he makes of social networks. “In France there is a web page that was very successful called ‘friends from before’ that allows you to reconnect with childhood companions. I admit that it has also been one of the sources of inspiration for this film because I have realized that there are many people who try reconnecting with childhood friends, perhaps seeking to rediscover this joy we had as children. But it usually doesn’t work. I myself met a childhood friend again in a bar and we realized that we had nothing to say to each other. It’s all part of this hope of thinking that before everything was better and for a comedy it was a juicy topic.”
The director wanted to set the story in the Greek islands, “since everything begins with the reunion between the two in an Indian restaurant in Paris, something banal, and he wanted to take this situation towards the epic. And the epic is the trip, Greece, the Odyssey, and I had to get out of this unreachable island.” He also recalls the time he traveled to Amorgós as a tourist and realized that Besson’s film “was still very present” and thought that this would be the element that would have brought them together to shoot this “story of memory and reunion”.
Magalie is an outgoing person to the point that she borders on the immature in her character, which is opposed to a good and sad Blandine.
Regarding the role of Scott Thomas, she comments that she chose her because “she’s not known for doing funny characters” and she was delighted that he proposed the role of Tesoro, a friend of Magalie’s who lives in Mykonos. “Her appearance of her riding a quad, with her gray hair blowing in the wind and talking about sex openly was a role that a priori did not correspond to this English actress with an aristocratic bearing. She had a great time,” she adds.
Do you think the film invites you to be more uninhibited, to enjoy life more without being so constrained? “I have to admit that I personally try to live more like Magalie than Blandine, but what I wanted was to show a character who wants to bring joy to others. It’s strange, because few characters choose optimism as a way of life and, nowadays, today, it is something very important. And I recognize that Magalie brings something very important to Blandine, which is a philosophy of life”, he concludes.
Few characters choose optimism as a way of life and, today, it is something very important