The Double Life of Véronique

The Double Life of Véronique ★★★★★

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In many ways, the way I feel about The Double Life of Véronique fits with the themes the film itself explores. I don't know what my attachment to it is; I mostly don't know where it comes from; it just is. From this and my experience watching Three Colors: Blue, it's clear that Krzysztof Kieślowski appeals to me in more aspects than his technical prowess. There's an emotional and subconscious attachment that lingers within, one that I can't make logical sense of, one that I can only feel. It's an enigma that I've yet to crack, but it's a draw to more of Kieślowski's work that I won't resist.

As for what I can consciously appreciate, this ethereal journey wouldn't have been possible without the breathtaking cinematography that captures it. From the two films I've seen from him, Kieślowski makes it known that he's a distinctive director on all fronts, but the cinematography is the most noticeable. Every scene bathes in a red, green, and yellow palette that serves the story as more than a gimmick. Not only does it contribute to the metaphysical experience this film provides, but it adds layers of vulnerability to Véronique that combine with Iréne Jacob's masterful performance to make her such a unique character. Plus, the framing throughout is flawless in its presentation and visual metaphor.

From experiencing Kieślowski's cinema, it's clear he cares for the auditory as much as the visual. Not only from the operatic sensibilities that come from this and Three Colors: Blue but from the meticulous usage of music and sound. The score accompanying the film changes and evolves with the narrative, and striking uses of silence appear during the film as well. Every auditory piece comes together to add to the hypnotic pull of The Double Life of Véronique.

From there, describing the experience of The Double Life of Véronique would be nearly impossible and superfluous. It's tough to say everything I can with a first viewing as films like these reward multiple, and that's what I'll do whenever I can. The best cinema erases the logical, critical analysis I try to place in favor of emotional attachment; whether or not the logical side of me comes back for renewed viewings, I don't think my connection to this will weaken. Films like these are why I value recommendations in the first place, and I wish to receive more from the list above in the hope that more films give me an experience like this one. Shoutouts to Andrew Hutch for motivating me to finally watch this, not to mention for being a great reviewer and person in general. If you, for some reason, haven't followed him, his content is better than mine.

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