Three Colors: Red

Three Colors: Red ★★★★

For whatever reason, I'm having a much harder time writing about this film than any others I've seen in a while. If I wasn't reviewing everything, it would probably get skipped. To get easy, general impressions out of the way: it's quite good! I think Blue remains my favorite of the trilogy because it's a much more emotional experience, but Red is a close second.

Much of that is due to how beautiful this movie is. After I complained that White didn't have enough style for my tastes, this is a complete 180. Every scene is full of deep reds and each moment feels so carefully framed and composed. While this isn't quite a new absolute favorite of mine, it feels nearly flawless. It's a sort of Platonic Ideal of "good film-making" in all the most traditional senses. Maybe that's why I'm not completely in love -- I don't think there's any single pattern that explains my tastes, but I do value being weird and different pretty highly.

What stands out to me most in the narrative of Red is the treatment of the judge who spies on people's phone conversations. His behavior is clearly unacceptable, but the film has a sort of warmth towards him anyway. It doesn't tell us that surveillance is good actually, it's just hesitant to wholly condemn the guy who does it. There's an underlying theme of the impossibility of understanding everything about a person through the glimpses we get. And how can we know the ultimate consequences of our actions? Stepping away from judgment in this way is not something I exactly agree with (or it depends on the circumstances, in so many ways... both the severity of what they're being judged for the whether judging the individual actions or something more like the person as a whole), but I appreciate the point being made. It feels like a very religiously inspired position.

This feels disjointed and sloppy as hell but I'm going to click the save button because I've been deleting large chunks and trying to rewrite them over and over. I have some mental block when it comes to Red. Or maybe pandemic stress is just weighing on me, who knows. Hope you all are doing well.

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