Luc Besson’s movie “The Big Blue” plays like a love letter to the Sea. In beautiful images, this movie follows the life of two friends who grew up together in Greece – although one of them is Italian (Enzo) and the other French (Jacques). Both have a fascination with the ocean and free-diving. Enzo is the world champion in free diving, going from one competition to the next for a living. He is not using his ability to dive to rescue divers in need but only to prove to himself and the world that he can hold his breath longer than anyone else, and that he can dive to depths no other man can. Jacques on the other hand is not very competitive and uses his incredible diving skills for science. He supports studies that try to find out what give him this rather unique ability. Jacques struggles between love to a Sea and love to a woman. Attraction to “the better place” is stronger than feelings towards his girlfriend (Johanna) and he is unable to negate his nature.
Life in small village in Greece is closely connected with the sea. Jacques from his early childhood experiences the feel of blue blanket covering him while exploring hidden places and treasures. But the sea betrays him by taking his dad away while he is diving. Even though, dolphins and sea itself are becoming Jacques`s new home. Happiest when underwater his nature does not allow him to adjust to the norm that is accepted by the rest of society. He is often ill at ease when having to deal with others. He prefers the company of dolphins to that of men. In fact he appears to consider dolphins as something of a kindred spirit. He dives professionally, helping salvage crews and working with insurance companies but he appears to take little real interest in the work – he does it because he loves diving and sea. This is his talent, his nature, and he uses his talent as much to indulge himself as to help others.
Almost at the end of the film he say amazing words that predict the end – end for Johanna but beginning for Jacques. He says, ” Diving is slipping without falling. The hardest thing is when you are at the bottom because you have to find a good reason to come back up and I am having problem to find one.” For a short period of time he has the reason – Johanna. Enzo dies while diving in competition and his last words are: ” It’s better place. It’s much better down there.” This is a breaking point for Jacques. He looses his best friend but on the other hand Johanna tells him that she is pregnant. His decision is unpredictable – he leaves – he wants to dive because he wants to see (a better place).
Jacques and Johanna are drawn to one another from the start. The theme of love or attraction is being presented as mysterious and unstoppable. Johanna sacrifices everything to acquire one – Jacques. He is pleased to see her even though he is somewhat nervous and awkward with relationships. The only relationship that he mastered so far was relationship with sea and dolphins. His spirit belongs to the ocean. The sea is his home and there comes a point when he must choose between “acting” in a society in which he feels uncomfortable with, or following his instincts. Johanna is in the unfortunate position of coming second to Jacques’ true love – Sea.
“The Big Blue” is a poetic film visualizing sensuality and beauty. It sensitively pictures the love between Jacques and Johanna, the dramatic competition between the two men, and their common love for the ocean but their fascination with ocean is pictured as the strongest magnet in their lives. The film always shows moments in pulsing images to create a very beautiful tapestry of emotions and sights. Presentation so good that no fan of under water films should miss out the opportunity to see this big blue love letter to the Sea!