The Double Life of Véronique

The Double Life of Véronique ★★★★

Watched for Film Club.

I've barely eaten today. I was hungry when I decided to watch The Double Life of Veronique and I'm still hungry. I stuck it on and thought, "I'll grab something soon", but I couldn't leave the damn screen. The music, the aesthetic, the elusive nature of the narrative, feeling so close yet so far from clarity. It was hypnotic and it was engaging. I'm not sure I can not like this film. I think I have to like it. I can't not like it if I liked it, can I? I can't not like it just because I didn't fully understand it. I saw it, I followed it and now I am where I am, liking it.

Beautifully filmed and strangely engrossing; mesmerising and enigmatic, The Double Life of Veronique is a tough cookie to crack, but maybe that's missing the point. This does not feel like a film where everything is plain, where everything has a meaning, where answers are within reach. There are without a doubt layers of symbolism, themes of "love", manipulation, identity, existence, fate, free will and all that existential jazzzzzzz... You can argue that it's pretentious and "artsy fartsy", but I think it deserves a bit more credit than that. It's just a little too affecting to dismiss, while equally too untidy to claim perfection - but if it was tidy it wouldn't be nearly as effective in its honest uncertainty as it is.

Should you watch this film? I don't know. Are you having an existential crisis? Would you like one?

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