The Big Blue

September 22nd, 1988


The Big Blue

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The Big BlueStill of Jean Reno in The Big BlueStill of Jean Reno in The Big BlueStill of Rosanna Arquette and Jean Reno in The Big BlueStill of Jean Reno and Jean-Marc Barr in The Big BlueStill of Jean Reno in The Big Blue

Enzo and Jacques have known each other for a long time. Their friendship started in their childhood days in the Mediterranean...

Release Year: 1988

Rating: 7.4/10 (22,109 voted)

Critic's Score: 35/100

Director: Luc Besson

Stars: Jean-Marc Barr, Jean Reno, Rosanna Arquette

Enzo and Jacques have known each other for a long time. Their friendship started in their childhood days in the Mediterranean. They were not real friends in these days, but there was something they both loved and used to do the whole day long: diving. One day Jacques' father, who was a diver too, died in the Mediterranean sea. After that incident Enzo and Jacques lost contact. After several years, Enzo and Jacques had grown up, Johanna, a young clerk in a security office, has to go to Peru. There she meets Jacques who works for a group of scientists. He dives for some minutes into ice-cold water and the scientists monitor his physical state that is more like a dolphin's than a human's. Johanna can not believe what she sees and gets very interested in Jacques but she's unable to get acquainted with him. Some weeks later, back in her office, she notices a championship for divers that is supposed to take place in Taormina...

Writers: Luc Besson, Luc Besson

Rosanna Arquette - Johana Baker
Jean-Marc Barr - Jacques Mayol
Jean Reno - Enzo Molinari
Paul Shenar - Dr. Laurence
Sergio Castellitto - Novelli
Jean Bouise - Uncle Louis
Marc Duret - Roberto
Griffin Dunne - Duffy
Andréas Voutsinas - Priest (as Andreas Voutsinas)
Valentina Vargas - Bonita
Kimberly Beck - Sally (as Kimberley Beck)
Patrick Fontana - Alfredo
Alessandra Vazzoler - La Mamma (Enzo's Mother)
Geoffrey Carey - Supervisor (as Geoffroy Carey)
Bruce Guerre-Berthelot - Young Jacques

Taglines: The sea has a secret. [Australian poster]

Release Date: 22 September 1988

Filming Locations: Agia Anna, Amorgos, Small Cyclades, Greece

Box Office Details

Budget: FRF 80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $14,234 (USA) (16 July 2000) (5 Screens)

Gross: $3,500,000 (USA)

Technical Specs

Runtime: (director's cut)  | France: (original cut)  | USA: (edited version)

Did You Know?

Although the story is fiction, it is inspired by the lives of divers Jacques Mayol and Enzo Maiorca.

Revealing mistakes: Enzo would have very marked lines on his face from "mask squeeze" from going to those depths at the end, when Jacque is holding him.

[Enzo pulls out a whiskey flask in a diving bell]
Noireuter: Is that alcohol? That's *really* forbidden!
Enzo: Hey, do you have any more complaints? Just make a list and we'll stick it on the porthole, OK?

User Review

The best special effect of " Big Blue " is its freedom.

Rating: 10/10

This is the movie of my life !

I never before saw a film that i could identify myself so much with. I´m lucky enough to live in a place near the sea very similar and as beautiful as those in the movie and the opening scenes always remind me of my teenage years and the waters i explored like young Jaqques Mayol does in the beginning of the movie. Things that i still do. So i immediatley related to the character and its love for the ocean.

I guess that´s the beauty of this movie. It makes us feel that we could be any of its characters, because they´re so real. We almost can´t believe that they don´t exist outside of the movie. This is an amazing ,beautifuly well written ,acted, photographed and directed movie ! It carries us into an extraordinary world, and it´s our world !! (mine at least to some point) Not some hollywood depiction of reality !

But what it´s about it ? This is the worst thing anyone can ask about this movie.

I would hate to be the guy who had to publicize this in USA. And i can see why it failed there.

But what can i say about it?... That it´s the story of two friends who compete to find out who´s best ?...It´s more than that ! That it´s a love story ? It goes beyond every love story ! That it´s an adventure ? You bet it is ! But it has no action, no chases,no dangerous cliffangers, no guns and no explosions. It doesn´t even has bad guys ! Or good guys in fact. That it´s a travel or a road movie ? Probably. This movie has better locations than any James Bond movie will ever get and they´re all real !

But they don´t matter much compared to the characters in the film. The characters then... There´s a hero right ?... Well there´s two of them. Two men. But they´re not heroes.

Probably the hero is a woman who sacrifices her happiness for love. So, there´s a woman and two men. There´s got to be a love triangle there to cause all those love story rivalary subplots, right ? Well, there´s a love triangle, but there aren´t subplots attached to it. In fact the love triangle has more than three people. All characters are a part of it realy. Including dolphins ! Even the ocean.

Aha ! So this is some sort of a kinky erotic and exotic movie thing ? Wrong ! There´s sex in it, but not in that way at all.

It´s a comedy then... You´ll laugh, but you´ll cry too. It´s a drama ... Not in the conventional cliché way. Not at all. A dramatic comedy... Nope !

It´s a sci-fi film !... Well there´s scientists in it, and deep underwater, and even under ice diving scenes, but it´s not a scifi film, although the American "version" Movie Trailler presented it like if it were some new esotheric adventure underwater sci-fi horror movie, when in fact it is not.

So what is this movie about ?!!

It´s about what you want it to be. About what you´re feeling. It´s that open. You just have to feel it.

As Luc Besson said in an interview, at some point in the movie he was stuck, because he didn´t know how to carry the audience inside.

Then the real Jaqques Mayol, who worked in the film as a diving and story consultant took Besson diving with him one day and made him experience the sea in his way. Then Besson understood that he didn´t had to explain anything to the audience. He just had to make people feel what it was like !

And boy, did he make it ! The atmosphere in this movie goes beyond words. It has to be felt ! Also the soundtrack is out of this world and trully magical.

To me this film is about love, but in a much deeper meaning than the usual. Beyond race, beyond gender, beyond sex, beyond nationality. Love as an emotion. And about freedom !

So get a wide screen TV and a full blast surround. This movie is the reason to buy one if you don´t have it! Believe me ! And watch it in the dark.

Try to get the european full version of the movie. The american is not that terrible, the feeling is there, but it´s diferent from the original.

This movie is a masterpiece ! ( in any version )


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