The Double Life of Véronique

The Double Life of Véronique ★★★★½

Yet another one of those reviews about a film soaked in symbolism all too intelligent for little old me to even begin to discuss, let alone interpret. So say you're actually reading this; don't expect any deep discussion about The Double Life of Veronique, there are much better people on this website for that than myself.

The reason I've been putting this off for a few days is that I wanted to put my own take on the movie, my own perspective on things since this is evidently a film that affects people differently due to how vague it is. In this instance though I can't help but find myself continuously coming back to DirkH's review (which I urge you to read, one of my favourites on this site for sure) that compares the movie to a half remembered dream. For hours upon hours the movie confused me as to what or why it managed to suck me in, and there lies the answer sitting in that review.

That spot on description alone leaves the answer as to why I let slide - which I'm usually quite reluctant towards - the disjointed plot, weird pacing issues and convoluted narrative with a sincere lack of answers towards even the basic cohesion of it all. It was all made abundantly clear after reading the explanation, it all made sense why it worked. More than worked, worked implies it just got by and this was too masterfully done to have just done such.

There was a clear use of dream-like imagery haunting every frame, creating an abstract field of hazy imagery to revel in. Sławomir Idziak has created some of the most emotionally moving cinematography I've seen in film, which in itself has formed an entire atmosphere, an ethereal plane wherein two women form a blurry, emotional connection that transcends location. If someone were to not enjoy the narrative itself, which would be completely understandable, then I'm sure the images alone would be enough to haunt a viewer. The images alone are spellbindingly terrifying and fluorescent despite how dark an aura it possesses.

As I said previously I'm probably (definitely not) the best person to come to for any worthwhile interpretation and that's not even what I'd want to attempt to do in this case. This is a movie I like not really knowing what the bond between these two physically identical women, both wonderfully performed by who I now realise to be the criminally underused Irène Jacob.

The Double Life of Veronique is one of the most hauntingly gorgeous movies I've seen, and thankfully not the last I'll be spending for the first time with Krzysztof Kieślowski. A half remembered dream, I like that description. I like it a lot.

Lee liked this review