The Double Life of Véronique

The Double Life of Véronique ★★★★★

Film Club #32 - my pick!!!

It was really exciting (but nerve-wracking) putting one of my favourite films forward for the film club weekly pick this week. I knew going into it that not everyone would love it like I do, which is totally fine, but I’m really happy to see quite a few people loving it too!

When I first watched this film, I watched it on recommendation from my university supervisor when I was writing a thesis on Eastern European cinema. Originally, I watched it because I was looking for very particular kinds of films to talk about in my project, but this ended up meaning more to me than I ever imagined. It floored me on my first viewing, and I’ve watched it about three times since, and each time I never quite knew what to say about its impact. It is painful, agonising at times, empty and lonely, but also hopeful, beautifully poetic and meaningful. I watched it at a strange time in my life where I was coping with a lot, grieving the death of someone very close to me, where my physical and mental health was up and down like a yo-yo, all while trying to retain some sense of normalcy. My whole life was in some kind of ordered disarray. I found a strange comfort in the melancholy feeling this movie evoked in me. I both loved it and despised it in a way that could only mean this movie effected me in ways deeper than I ever thought possible. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to fully articulate how personal this film is to me, but I guess this is as good a start as any.

Kieślowski in The Double Life of Véronique creates an understanding of what it is to be human in such an ethereal way, making his characters feel almost otherworldly or spiritual, while still containing a deep-seated root in reality. There’s a lot of big words I could throw out about this movie, but I’m not sure it will ever do it justice. It’s a feeling, it’s trying to understand yourself, it’s trying to understand the world, it’s about two souls interconnected, about predestination, fate vs. our choices, life, death, the human condition, and so many other things. Maybe it’s too big to put into words, but I’m absolutely okay with that.

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