UttiyoS’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Double Life of Veronique- 4/5
The character on whom the film is surrounded ’Veronique’’ is an extremely puzzling character who takes the audience through a magical experience in which director Krzysztof Kieslowski showcases the lives of two different people and how they somehow clash together in the most daunting manner. The Double Life of Veronique is a haunting presentation surrounding the lives of Weronika and Veronique and how they ‘’bond’’. Irene Jacob has done a tremendous job in presenting both these characters in a sensitive manner and her character(s) both written for script and directed by the fascinating Krzysztof Kieslowski is a presentation of artistic brilliance punched with a hand of mind-boggling experience throughout this unique film of two lives which is showcased in the most wonderful( with the amazing camerawork and spell-binding music) yet peculiar manner which fits in brilliantly for this mysterious character(s).
The story starts of by presenting Weronika( Irene Jacob) who is a student who is in love with a guy and has an unusual but terrific voice for opera singing and when she goes to meet her aunt in Krakow, she gives an audition for an opera singing play and gets picked up by the orchestrator of the concert. She gets ready for the concert tackling some personal problems along the way in her peculiar life, and when she is singing in the concert she dies abruptly. After this we watch her getting buried and move straight onto Veronique who is an up and coming singer but leaves that profession after a mental breakdown and becomes a music teacher. We see her changing into Weronika( although both strike no resemblance in each other) while in the same time finding love in Alexandre Fabri( Phillipe Volter) who is a puppeteer and Veronique slowly discovering the changes going inside her.
Krzysztof Kieslowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz have written the script explaining these delicate women in Weronika and Veronique and adding that element of psychology in the path for viewers to make it a mind-boggling ride and the film Is of high symbolistic nature which is hard to decrypt but the film is shown in a wonderful and obviously puzzling manner by the amazing Kieslowski who’s direction is definitely exemplary stuff for directions of future generations, and so can be said for the amazing script which in turn makes one of the most daunting and unique films I’ve ever seen. Irene Jacob deserves immense praise for her amazing performance as the protagonist Weronika and Veronique and her diversity at performing 2 people with different characteristics in such a sensitive yet hard-hitting manner in which she becomes the character(s) and every sequence of her( especially during the transformation period) was all her and she made sure that the film was justified with a brilliant performance and all the other actors also did a fine job in giving her the much needed support.
Krzysztof Kieslowski gave the audience something to ponder on even when the experience is over in his baffling ‘’ The Double Life of Veronique’’ which surrounds these different and unknown to each other Weronika and Veronique and how after the demise of the former, the latter starts to change in a mysterious way and with his wonderful technical effects( which included some amazing camerawork, focusing on the protagonist) and his unusual yet brilliant method of direction in which he almost creates a mirage inside a film for the audience which can be completed only if one can follow the hidden symbolisms perfectly and the psychological element in this film makes it not only gripping but quite intriguing as well as mind-boggling. Kieslowski’s bold and effective style of direction giving light on the protagonist is inspirational stuff at how to keep the audience constantly guessing throughout the film yet in the same time keeping them calm through some wonderful music and visual stuff and in the end leave them puzzled yet fascinated at this confusing yet brilliant showcasing of this peculiar character(s).
The Cinematography in the film by Slawomir Idziak is quite wonderful in showcasing the perspective of our character(s) be it sometimes from a first-person angle or be it showcasing the beautiful areas of France and Poland and he also gave Kieslowski much help with the dazzling yellowish-hint to every sequence which is inspirational stuff and Idziak definitely helped Kieslowski present this film in a unusual manner. The background music of the film is outstanding in every aspect which keeps the audience still wondered at the beauty of the technical effects and the classical opera music used in this film is spell-binding in its own right and definitely one of the impactful points of the film for which music director Zbigniew Preisner has to be given full accolades for!
One has to give Kieslowski credit for making a film which was hanging by a thread at times from being a gripping one to a boring one and the way he showcased the protagonist(s) in the film is admirable as well as creating a maze of sorts for the audience along this experience he keeps us wondered with the beautiful technical effects and in his ‘’ The Double Life of Veronique’’ he creates one of the most unique and haunting films I’ve ever seen surrounding a character with the mindset of none other!