The Double Life of Véronique

The Double Life of Véronique

I have indirectly or directly consumed more opera in the last few months than in the rest of my life, but it's been a pleasant experience. The stunning voice that cuts through this film's earlier scenes seems to come not from the throat of the singer but from somewhere above and before her, out of the thin air. It's a clarion burst of soprano beauty, and the entire film is worth it just to hear her sing. It overshadows the complex emotional narrative by magnitudes, which is impressive in that the narrative is intriguing and moving, and not some milquetoast nonsense.

This film seems to be about two women with an unexplainable connection. They are not long lost twins--at least, I don't think so--but they look exactly alike and lead similar lives. They even end up with connections to the same room number in a hotel, seemingly by chance. The film is enigmatic, and the truth and meaning behind this duality is never made clear. Yet despite this, there is an emotional component to this film that creeps under your skin all the same. It seems to be, like most great art, about loneliness and connection, but rather than bluntly stating its ideas, it illustrates rough sketches of moments of both.

This might be the best Kieslowski I've seen yet--I've not seen many of course--and an improvement on the other two by quite a bit. He avoids the more direct narratives for something almost impressionistic, and it gives much more to the viewer.

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