Three Colors: Red

Three Colors: Red ★★★★½

“It feels like something important is happening around me, and it scares me”

Three Colors: Red (Trois Couleurs: Rouge) is the final film in Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy.

The film stars Irène Jacob as Valentine, a Swiss model whose life, through the unpredictable nature of fate, becomes intertwined with the life of a retired judge, Joseph Kern. Despite discovering that Kern has a fascination with invading people's privacy by tapping into phone calls, Valentine soon forms a bond with him. While this is going on, there is a seemingly unrelated story of a young judge named Auguste and his love interest, Karin.  

This film is a character study above all else. It's about humanity, relationships, love, and forgiveness. Through our two main characters (Valentine and Kern), we are shown the importance of interconnectivity between people. Their performances are excellent, but also subtle. Every scene they share together is compelling. The soundtrack of the film is also enlightening. I appreciate how well the score complimented the themes of the film.

Red is also the most complex film in the trilogy. The audience is never treated as dumb, and we are expected to connect the individual pieces and nuances of the film ourselves. Personally, it is my least favorite of the trilogy; this is not because it's bad, but rather because it's so dense that, upon one viewing, I could not possibly pick up on all of the film’s underlying themes. I'm sure on future viewings I could appreciate the film even more.

Though this film is part of a trilogy, the three films are not explicitly connected; in fact, the connections never seemed to go beyond cameos of characters from the previous film. However, it isn’t until the end of Red, that we realize that the films are all in fact connected in one significant way. The ending is subtle, yet mystic, in the way the films are threaded together with the notion of interconnected lives.

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