The Double Life of Véronique

The Double Life of Véronique ★★★★★

We never lead just one life. Even when we focus fully on our very own, we take the lives of all around us with us and perhaps even more than just those few. Who knows what simple glance you give to a random passer-by can do to them? Obviously, the person sitting next to you just watched the same film, but perhaps someone on the other side of the world did too and if so, what else might they have done or encountered the same way you did?

Yet, they might have done things slightly differently. Where you succeeded, they might have failed and vice versa. It is a thought that might not occur with everybody all the time, yet it is simple to conceive that at every moment in time two people might experience, if only within the slightest field of comparison, exactly the same feeling, the same thought.

To say that Kieślowski's The Double Life of Veronique very subtly, yet undeniably envelops the entire human condition within the storyline of two young women wouldn't be a strange thing to say at all. With his keen minimalistic eye and his dreamlike direction (including of course that wonderful score that ranges from pure epic to pure intimacy and that cinematography that is both like a child's dream and a highly adult sexual haze), he creates that inexplicable, weird and wonderful universal sense. One couldn't put it into words, but as the film itself proves, words are often unnecessary.

The imagery, the self-reflexive narrative, the dreamy world that seems as much a fictive attribution as well as a hint to what reality could sometimes look like, is a work of art that doesn't know no equal. It will be forever safeguarded as one of my all-time favorites and, hopefully, even as one of cinema's greatest achievements.

Krzysztof Kieślowski Ranked

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