Marian is a middle-aged nurse who puts everything she has in trying to help and nurture her patients. But outside of the hospital she doesn't have much of a life. She's a lonely woman just waiting for someone to be part of her life, but nothing seems to ever be changing. That is until she's invited to a party where she meets a neighbor she has been innocently stalking.
There are disturbing movies that will make you wanna clean yourself afterwards. There are sad movies that pull your heartstrings and start the waterworks. There are even some bleak movies that'll make you question humanity for a brief second. And then we have the rare lonely movies like "Code Blue", that instantly makes you feel completely empty. A movie that, when it ends, will make you stand up and just go on with your day, but feeling slightly more strange doing it. Feeling lonely. That's exactly what "Code Blue" does - it's such a lonely movie that you'll feel lonely from watching it.
The highly devoted middle-aged nurse Marian lives an empty life, and her only real human interaction is at work. She does everything for her old patients, and that "everything" can cover simple nurture as well as helping them to end their life. Marian's angelic acts at work make her lonely life seem even more insignificant and empty. The only thing in her personal life that keeps her occupied is her neighbor who she is keeping an eye on, and slightly stalking by smaller means like renting the same movies as him when he has returned them. When one of her co-workers invite her over for a party and she accepts, she's surprised to find the neighbor is also there. This is the first time in a very long time that Marian's life seems to be going somewhere.
Following Marian's non-existing life is more fascinating than you'd expect, and what makes it even more miserable is the lack of a soundtrack. I think Marian is a really interesting character and I could easily have watched another hour of this film, even though most of the time very little happens. But when it happens, and they manage to underline her loneliness, it can be completely harrowing. One scene shows her witnessing a rape from her window, and what follows is just the epitome of loneliness. A simple scene that's really strong without going over-the-top or showing too much. It seems very common to cross the line nowadays, which is why a film like "Code Blue" feels like a fine mix of new and old arthouse movies.
The movie actually looks really good, but it's also a rather small movie in the way that it doesn't gloat too much with fancy cinematography. It's down-to-earth for the most part, and gives off a realistic feel, although still a very nice and polished feel (meaning it's not gritty or grainy with sloppy camera handling). However, now and then it kicks it up a notch and throws in some really incredible artsy shots that gives us a nice break from her reality. The final shot is one of these, and thus is ends on a strange note.
I can't write a review that accurately describes how I feel about "Code Blue". It's a fantastic little movie from the Netherlands that I hope will find its way to many of our readers. It's not a shocking or deeply disturbing movie, even though it features hints of both. Voyeuristic and emotionally claustrophobic. It's just a very harrowing movie that's filled to the top with anxiety and loneliness in the most fascinating sense of these words. Highly recommended if you want to empty your soul for a while and study a truly lonely human being.