Three Colors: White

Three Colors: White ★★★½

#Watched with Cormac

Have you ever written a review with a bad taste in your mouth? A bad taste that does not originate from the movie but from yourself? Let me elaborate: expectations can be the most toxic constituents of experiencing cinema. Try to scratch them off as hard as you will; you won't succeed. But that's not quite the case here, not exactly. Were my expectations let down by White? Yes and no. Kieslowski is in my opinion one of the least talked about geniuses in cinema, and the quality of his directorial efforts is unquestionable. No. The key to the enigma lies not in the quality but in the nature of my expectations.

White is the movie that is outstanding in its own right but has the misfortune of being considered the follow-up to Blue (which, for me, is a transcendent movie). Now, there is no doubt about the masterfulness of each film. Kieslowski took a huge leap in my already soaring reverence in how he approached White. He did not even pretend to follow in Blue's footsteps in terms of style. Stylistically, White is the antithesis of Blue – one is heavily narrative, whereas the other downplays the plot in favor of a sensory experience blossoming into poetic contemplation. If you know me just a bit through my writing – you know which I prefer.

At the end of the day, White once again proved to me Kieslowski's versatility. Instead of Blue's melancholic introspection, we get a deliciously Kieslowskian sense of humour, a wry, sardonic reminder that life is beautiful because of our futility in chasing its transcendence.

Kieslowski does not take as heavily an existence-breaking philosophy as he does in Blind Chance, but he makes the ending of White resonate with unseen force. He flips around the final image and the associations branching out from said image in his trademark ambiguous/opaque way that I so admire: he shows physical distance and unattainability, but implies that the barrier is but a physical one – and it is in the intangible that the answer lies.

One additional pet peeve that is actually an important one: more Julie Delpy next time, please.

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