The Double Life of Véronique

The Double Life of Véronique ★★★★★

More like Three Colors GREEN amirite fellas 

The Double Life of Veronique, much like The Conformist, is yet another film I didn’t exactly love watching for the first time. Yet something about that first watch stuck. It immediately made it into my top 5. And just like how it happened with The Conformist, diving back into this film I was terrified of what I would think of this. And as I stand here now, I’m glad to report...


This hit so much harder on a rewatch. Artistically masterful on a surface level, and astoundingly dense in its underlying messages and symbolism. There’s so much to analyze in every scene, I can’t currently confidently say I understand all of it. Stanley Kubrick once wrote about Dekalog that Kieslowski has the rare ability of dramatizing his ideas instead of simply talking about them, therefore making them all the more impactful without the viewer initially realizing it. Kieslowski does just that in this film as well, but here that particular quality is found at its most refined. This film is just all around a triumph of storytelling on a visual, audial and verbal level. 

Kieslowski has always been fascinated with the unseen metaphysical element of life, his most often repeated motif being the invisible metaphorical connection between humans. What is the deciding factor of what makes up our thoughts, or our feelings? What truly makes us feel empathy and melancholy - at least in a less literal sense? Here, he does not provide any answers but merely reflects the reality of the human soul. He transfers onto the screen what most dare not to convey in words - or rather what most don’t even know how to. He has managed to condense the dreadful sense of existence into 1h and 37m of a story that is at once both comforting and terrifying. 

With a phenomenal performance by Irene Jacob, an outstanding soundtrack by the legendary Zbigniew Preisner, gorgeously entrancing cinematography by Slawomir Idziak, and (of course) the magnificent directing of Krzysztof Kieslowski, The Double Life of Veronique serves as a testament to the power of film as a medium and a prime example of a film that demands to be viewed at least twice in order to be fully appreciated. 

Also just checked and yup, mm-hm, the opera scene is still, like, the best scene ever put on film. 


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