Blue Bayou; Grade: B-
Blue Bayou tells a story about a tattoo artist named Antonio (Justin Chon) whom is looking for a second job, to help his wife Kathy (Alicia Vikander) whom is carrying his upcoming child. Antonio gets into an unexpected beat down from a cop, which led to Antonio not only being arrested but also taken to an immigration center, in which Antonio maybe facing deportation due to not being a legal citizen. Antonio was brought into America from Korea at the age of three and was adopted by a couple Americans, however Antonio doesn't have the correct paperwork in which would clarified him as an American citizen. Will Antonio find a way to not have himself deported?!
Justin Chon delivered a striking solid film with Gook in 2017, however had a mediocre slump with Ms. Purple. Following up Ms. Purple with Blue Bayou... It seems as if Justin got his right footing again with the follow up.
This is arguably Justin Chon's best film from a visual standpoint, as this is a gorgeous looking film that reminisces the likes of the early 2000's. It's got a sense of charm within the visuals, I loved the colors and the nature shots as it just pops. The entire cast did a great job as a whole, Justin Chon and Alicia Vikander were lights out together, delivering some heart aching emotional sequences together on screen and themselves alone.
The story as a whole was not only fairly written, however the story speaks volumes in which the powerful message it's trying to address within the topic of discussion. Regarding the subject matter in which the film is discussing: It feels totally unfair on all accounts. It's a blessing for all of these foreign kids to be adopted into a loving home and are brought into a country filled much grander opportunities, however how come none of them are given the proper paperwork upon arrival?! I thought that was a necessity to have, especially from the adopted parents that adopted the child in the first place. Just a very unfortunate situation and it's extremely unfair, as Justin Chon not only address this message well within his story but only delivered well in spreading awareness on this matter.
Flaws within Blue Bayou consists on some elements of the story. Antonio knowing he's not in a place of financial stability, you question why he's not taking money from a customer?! I understand her circumstance, however you yourself are in no position to not take money whether it be the child situation or the deportation situation in which you have to earn money to pay for your lawyer. You question Antonio again as to why he's rude to this customer?! I get he's frustrated, but why take it out on one that's going through a tough time just as equal too?! Regarding the third act... Why exactly doesn't Kathy refuse to open the door for Antonio in that situation?! Do you honestly think given the fact Antonio has shown he loves you, your child, and is so passionate about becoming a father to your upcoming little one on the way he would do such a thing as bail in that circumstance?! Just feels odd.
Blue Bayou is a film that delivers a fairly heart wrecking story, while spreading awareness on an important cause.
Overall, Blue Bayou is a fairly decent film. I recommend checking this one out, felt like a upgrade from Chon's previous film for sure. -Mitch Smietana