feedingbrett’s review published on Letterboxd:
Included In Lists:
Criterion Collection - #359
Review In A Nutshell:
Krzysztof Kieslowski has made some amazing films, notably the bookends of the Three Colors trilogy, and I first came into The Double Life of Veronique a couple of months ago with high expectations. The film did not deliver as effectively as I hoped but there was a magical and intoxicating quality about it, which stayed on my mind since then. Now enough time has passed since my previous viewing, I decided to give it another watch, hoping I would be able to uncover the film's hidden secrets.
I definitely was able to understand more of what Kieslowksi was trying to explore, but I still found it to be ineffective in drawing me into the connection between its two characters. Kieslowski was unable to create a large contrast between Veronique and Weronika, and his layer of ambiguity in the film's themes made it difficult to appreciate the director's aim and ambition. Though contrasting of the two characters were not done effectively, it was still obvious to see the differences between the two characters, especially in regards to their choices and feelings; playing with the idea that one inexplicably could feel their other "half" through intuition.
The film was at least still fantastic to look at, due to Slawomir Idziak's enchanting photography. The film's visual look helped me to easily grasp the film's magical element, and it certainly did its best to convey Kieslowski's themes on screen, but since Kieslowski intended for the film to ambiguous, the glass only feels half full.
Another strong point was Irene Jacobs' performance as both Weronika and Veronique. She plays both roles subtly, providing exposition only from her body language and small portions of dialogue. It may seem difficult to understand her but that is because she is an internally complicated individual, and the fact that she is able to convey something across is an extraordinary feat.
The Double Life of Veronique is a challenging, but magical film. I can see myself coming back to it in the future, but primarily due to its spellbinding photography and score, accompanied by a strong performance by Irene Jacobs.