The Double Life of Véronique

The Double Life of Véronique ★★★★

This was a blind buy as well from the Criterion Collection sale that I figured I was going to at least get started on the director's style before starting on the Three Colors trilogy soon. I'll say that this is a great start to get into Krzysztof Kieślowski’s filmography.

Irène Jacob plays two characters named Weronika and Véronique that may have some similar character traits, there are some subtle differences that you can tell which one is who whether it be the usage of the string or their passion with music. Speaking of the music, the score is beautiful to listen to. The way they use the choir in this feels otherworldly that puts you in a trance. Not only that, but the cinematography is great as well with the way they use the color scheme here that has the sunset feel to the setting of the film while also using a green look to represent the growth of life that doesn’t look putrid.

I love how they explore through identity issues that when we see Véronique as the main character for the first time, she felt empty like she lost someone important to her even though she has no idea why that was. We always have that feeling that when I go through some form of depression, I always feel like something’s off, and not be as productive as I usually am, kind of a similar vibe to when we see Véronique for the first time. The way they present the puppetry to this fits so well to the theme of the film were in some time in our lives, we feel like puppets just roaming around, not knowing what we are doing with our lives. It’s when you try to discover yourself for who you are and figure out what it is you need to do to not feel like a puppet inside.

The story kept me engaged in what’s going on, even though I was consistently confused about what's going to happen next or what it is going to lead to. It doesn’t spoon-feed you the answers as you got to figure it out yourself. When I was looking up some stuff about some of the plot elements, it was starting to make sense after the film was over where I was fitting the pieces together.

The main issue that I had with the film that was an ongoing thing for me, was the chemistry between Véronique and Alexandre (Philippe Volter). I enjoy Alexandre as he’s a puppeteer that does children’s books, but the thing is for me personally is that I just don’t buy their chemistry together. I don’t know if that was the point of the film or if Véronique is getting some of Weronika’s character traits, but it was something that took me out of the film at the first viewing when it got to the last act, especially when it got into horror territory. That doesn’t stop me from enjoying The Double Life of Veronique that has my curiosity to tackle the Three Colors Trilogy soon.

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