Surely, for every lover who says “I love you” (which is to ask “Do you love me?”) there is another who asks “What went wrong?” – or, simply, “Why don’t you love me anymore?”
Few movies so deftly tackle this whodunnit as well as Blue Valentine. Using the techniques of a mystery – the withholding of information, presenting events out of sequence, framing characters as suspects – it offers an honest account of romance; the falling in and out of love.
Perhaps, all love stories are mysteries, filled with ambivalences, contradictory accounts and unknown motives. For what is love but a suspense: the suspension of doubt, of self and even of reason as the distinct perspectives of two people merge together, drift apart and, sometimes, reunite.
As in Julio Cortazar’s novel Hopscotch:
You look at me, you look at me closely, each time closer and then we play cyclops, we look at each other closer each time and our eyes grow, they grow closer, they overlap and the cyclops look at each other…
The questions come later because they were always already there.
Related: Wong Kar-wai’s Happy Together.