Saturday, February 12, 2011

#239 The Double Life of Veronique (1991)


Director: Krysztof Kieslowski

Cast: Iréne Jacob, Halina Gryglaszewska, Kalina Jedrusik, Aleksander Bardini, Wladyslaw Kowalski, Jerzy Gudjeko, Janusz Sterninski, Philippe Volter

The Doube Life of Veronique is the tale of two women, both played by Iréne Jacob, although two separate people, in two separate parts of Europe, living two separate lives. One woman is Weronika, a Polish singer, and the other is Veronique, a French music teacher. When Weronika has an unfortunate, unexpected death, Veronique feels an unexplainable and irreconcilable grief, as the two women--whom we know have never met, share an inexplicable strong emotional bond.

The film then follows the life of Veronique as she is courted by a unique stranger, a puppeteer living near her home. The dreamlike, elusive character of Alexandre serves as a jumping point for a series of quiet meditations on many of the things about life we cannot explain nor express. Dreams, hallucination, imagination, superstition, intuition... all realms of the personal which each human experiences entirely alone in their lifetime.

The film's feel reminded a lot of Amélie without the cheeky humor (and yes, I realize this one came first). The unusual romance is whimsical and fantasy, and the movie as a whole is a clever expression on some of the hardest things to capture about human nature. Very beautiful. Slow. Contemplative. This is what I consider to be a worthy-of-your-time romance. I wish more people were still making movies like this.

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