The Double Life of Véronique

The Double Life of Véronique ★★★★

The Double Life of Veronique is an absolutely beautiful film, and it was an interesting movie to watch so soon after watching Persona. But where Persona's beauty comes from the stark contrasts of black and white, Kieślowski and his cinematographer Sławomir Idziak often seem to paint the frame with color, blocking off parts of it or suggesting things off-screen.

The parallels between Weronika and Véronique's lives are deftly established. Both have only their fathers left, both are invested in music, both seem to have a heart condition, etc. But I'm not sure what Kieślowski was trying to accomplish with them despite some surface-level political message. I think we're supposed to infer that their fates differ largely because of their different socio-economic situations, but beyond that I don't see a lot of thematic resonance.

Still, it does have emphatic plot-based resonance, and the ending got me as strongly as Kieślowski probably could have asked for. I loved Irène Jacob's performance; she's called upon to demonstrate a wide range of emotions and nails every bit of it. Her confrontation with Alexandre in the café is a particular highlight as she struggles to maintain her composure in the face of her disillusionment.

It's possible I'm rating this a bit higher than I should, but it was a beautiful experience and I feel like it's a film I'm going to get more out of on repeated viewings. That's enough for me to put it here, though I may change my opinion on later viewing or reflection.

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