The Double Life of Véronique

The Double Life of Véronique ★★★★★

The Double Life of Véronique shrouds us in a mesh of duality and illusion, a fever of doubt, trepidation and longing. The lens distorts and quavers, mustard and ocherous tones bleed across the screen, and we drift in a mist which splinters our sense of reality. Here, logic dissolves; what emerges is a surrender to intuition, to that unintelligible murmur which sows the seeds of the inexplicable. 

Kieślowski sculpts a reality which trembles before the sight of the beholder. Threads twine and come loose, our vision jitters with an anxiety preordained, we sway amid a kaleidoscope of sensations. A siren’s melody rings out, voice swollen with religious ecstasy—it is upon this crest that her heart stutters and stills, and thus she is lowered to the grave. Earth crumbles our vision but still, premonition croons a mournful echo even after her demise. 

We are left with a splintered self, an infectious numbness which drags cold fingers across the skin of the soul. There is a dialogue between the self and that which lies beyond. But here, reality seems fragile, and we ourselves are fragile. Melancholia swells in the chest, and somehow all sense of I has trundled into nonbeing. Where is the self? you ask. But the echo you anticipated never comes. You are absent, disconnected, and there is a chasm where the self once lived. This jumble of bones seems somehow not your own, and you move as if you were a mere puppet, an imposter, a marionette. It’s suffocating, this inexplicable grief. A death with no funeral; a bell with no toll.

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