The Double Life of Véronique

The Double Life of Véronique ★★★★½

Watching The Double Life of Véronique is one part reality, one part reverie.

Beautiful and poetic, images look as real as they do as if they were conjured up in a dream. There are tentative camera techniques such as six feet under angles, the tumbling movements of fainting. Stylistic shots of falling dust, reflecting communicative lights and shadows cast on an arm that looks like lace. Krzysztof Kieślowski takes a doppelganger story and substitutes the dazzling explanation with dazzling images.

Weronika and Véronique resemble themselves more than an mirror image of each other; the differences between the two doesn't really go any further than their slightly altered hair styles and mother tongues. However, their environments contrast as Weronika is seen in more earthy tones in Poland and Véronique is basked in rich reds in France. Both perspectives of the young woman is enriching and it always looks as if she stuck in some daydream as she turns a page of a novel by blowing on it or looks at the world through a daze rather than a simple look. Irène Jacob gives Weronika/Véronique just enough whimsical wonder before she becomes a little too kooky and enough emotion and range to believe she could be both characters.

The musical aspect is fantastic as is the premise of the story told through puppets by Véronique's love interest. Their relationship follows Ameliesque romantic puzzles and gestures which include a tape recording of various anonymous sounds that sparks their reunion. However, what is most fascinating is that words are left unsaid about the entire peculiar double story. Bold and daring and superb.

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