In regards to Krzysztof Kieślowski I have an odd understanding. I’ve see the Dekalog, A Short Film About Love, and a Short Film About Killing but I’ve never seen his most famous work The Colour Trilogy. I’d always appreciated the technical aspects of Kieślowski work but watching The Double Life of Veronique I suddenly gained an appreciation for the emotional elements at work within his film. The Dekalog, by its nature, is a very intellectual work. The Double Life of Veronique seems to go against rational thought and intellect, working with a story that is focused either on a tenuous emotional connection or something covertly supernatural.
It’s a film about two identical looking women named Veronika and Veronique. Veronika is a Soprano living in Poland, Veronique a teacher living in Paris. The two have a chance meeting but go their separate ways. Veronika dies during a performance and Veronique finds herself affected, unknowingly, by this trauma.
It’s a kind of amazing film because it feels at times completely otherworldly. The use of music and colour kind of establish this unspoken bond between the women and Veronika’s profession as a Soprano gives an almost mythical feel to her story and the emotional reaction Veronique is feeling.
Irene Jacob is the heart of the film playing Veronika and Veronique as two sides of the same person, mirror images of each other. That she manages to achieve this whilst creating remarkably different personalities for both characters is amazing. Whereas Veronika is vivacious and on the precipice of an exciting life, Veronique is wounded by something and is more withdrawn. It’s a hard disconnect to explain but you’re never in doubt that Veronika and Veronique are different people.
Kieslowski use of colour helps the mythical feel giving the streets of Paris an almost unearthly feel, whilst Zbigniew Preisner’s score is simply astounding. I’m assuming that a bunch of you guys have seen this, because it’s viewed as something of a modern classic, so what are your feelings?