Atomic Blonde blasted into theaters over the weekend, and was met with the enthusiastic reception it deserves. The adventure follows Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron), an MI6 spy on a mission in Berlin to retrieve a list of malicious agents. While navigating through the lethal journey, Lorraine unexpectedly finds romance with an undercover French agent, Delphine Lasalle.
Note: This article contains heavy spoilers for Atomic Blonde.
Surprisingly, Lorraine and Delphine's chemistry was more than the one-night-stand that trailers teased us with. The two women had an intriguing and natural connection, which was easily the most beautiful part of the film.
In addition to #LGBT inclusion — which is severely lacking in most blockbuster films — the relationship ties into Atomic's central theme of trust. Let's take a deeper look at the passion between the spies, and how it contains more importance to the narrative than it appears at first glance.
Lorraine's Mantra Of 'Trust No One' Was Broken
At the beginning of Atomic, it's revealed in flashbacks that James Gascoigne, another MI6 spy, was Lorraine's lover. James was in possession of the list, which got him killed. Upon hearing the news of his death, Lorraine seems numb; she even told her colleagues that she barely knew him. But beneath her stoic facade was conspicuous grief, which Theron made clear in her performance. Without knowing much about Lorraine, you can easily tell she has her guard up with everyone (which is hardly surprising, given her line of work). We get the impression that her time with James was the last time she felt safe enough to break her emotional wall. Lorraine is ready to leave the past behind while on her mission in Berlin, but will she learn to trust again?
After a brutal day of ass-kicking, Lorraine decides to blow off steam at an exquisite bar. Not long after arriving, she encounters Delphine, who saves her from some unwanted attention. Since Lorraine is aware that Delphine was following her, she's uncertain if Delphine is an ally or foe, causing her to initially be aloof. Delphine is clearly mesmerized by Lorraine, and confidently asks Lorraine out to a club.
The night after, Lorraine accepts, and is immediately greeted by Delphine and her signature Stoli on the rocks. The two find a more intimate setting to "connect," but Lorraine is back on guard when she finds a gun on Delphine.
She explains her story to Lorraine, proving she's not a threat, and they tastefully make love. When in Delphine's presence, a new side of Lorraine emerges — a side that is comfortable, free of tension and ready to open up. It's rare for Lorraine to smile, but some of the character's most buoyant moments in the film are spent with Delphine. Delphine is the only one who could melt Lorraine's coldness, and that's all because of trust. Delphine notices Lorraine becoming more vulnerable, telling her lover:
"You look different when you tell the truth. Your eyes change."
The trust between them is totally mutual. As an inexperienced spy, Delphine sees in Lorraine someone who she can feel safe with. She even shared a secret with Lorraine, which the latter never disclosed to her higher-ups. The women share a genuine romance, and it seems that Lorraine will do anything to protect her new partner.
Delphine Was Atomic Blonde's Only Honest Character
Deception is another common motif throughout Atomic: David Percival (James McAvoy) is playing both sides while attempting to sabotage Lorraine. In the end, Lorraine is revealed to be the infamous mole Satchel, and a triple agent working for the CIA. Delphine found herself in the center of the chaos, which unfortunately got her killed. She's always motivated by protecting Lorraine, and before she dies, she's planning to show her evidence that David is a threat. Lorraine is obviously distraught by Delphine's death, motivating her to kill David.
Delphine puts her life on the line and casts aside her mission for Lorraine's sake, which makes her death much more impactful. One of Delphine's first lines to Lorraine, "you look like you need saving," has an intense meaning in the aftermath. Tragedy aside, it's fantastic to see a queer relationship being deeply integrated in a film's main narrative, rather than simply being a provocative side-show to the main events.
Lorraine was stiff towards everyone she met in Berlin except Delphine, who taught her how to trust again. If an Atomic Blonde 2 is green-lit, I'd expect to see a Lorraine who is less icy, more fleshed out and ten times more badass. But above all, her contact with the French operative will never be forgotten.
What did you think of how Lorraine and Delphine's connection was portrayed in Atomic Blonde? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!