The Double Life of Véronique

The Double Life of Véronique ★★★★★

Mesmerising, hypnotic. A delicately strung sequence, a tentative struggle, a projection of that irreplicable process— the straining of a soul at loss with itself. Kieślowski’s creation is an utter surrender to illogicality, to the impossible, to those forces that may govern us though we remain tragically unaware.

There exists pain that cannot be conceptualised or expressed with words; only through art and music. Your voice may stutter out of the strings of an instrument, may spill from the brushstrokes of a painting. Or it may break its way through in the fervour of a song. This is a kind of lyrical suffering, an agony released through the body alone, for though the mind may propel its host to express, its role is diminished as the body assumes control of its own misery, thus becoming the instrument of that expression. And it is that shared musical affinity that becomes the thread to join Véronique’s existence to Weronika’s. Véronique laments a loss she cannot explain... It’s as if I were grieving... I don’t know. 

Haunted, confused, she recognises within herself a sudden, unexplainable loneliness, a feeling that she must mourn a loss too subtle to grasp. Explanations evade her, truth is like water spilling past her fingers; it becomes as though she is hunting for a part of herself that she has exiled. There is the feeling that human identity is so impossibly mutable, dangerously delicate and subject to manipulation— Véronique herself teeters on the precipice of her own subjectivity. She occupies a space of liminality, hovering on the threshold and when Alexandre, the puppeteer, emerges into her world, that sense of self is all the more threatened. There is a haunting scene in which he replicates her and her tale in his marionettes and in this reimagining, she becomes a blank slate for him. In love with an idealisation, crafting his own love, his muse, his marionette. 

Here, above all, is made apparent the abrupt awareness that everything is connected. The human mind can lie dormant, can seek oblivion and the comfort of the knowable, but the body is receptive to all. Allow the body to tremble and mourn, break through the barrier of shame and the feeling that you mustn’t be weak. Pain left unspoken decays the flesh. Express, express, express. 

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