This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Mateus Quintana’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Gotta be honest, I have a tendency to try to give meaning to whatever I'm watching right away. Not as a hole, but keeping track of the small meanings troughout the film. Hardly ever I sit down and just relax and enjoy the ride, letting just my feelings take control and waiting to do the thinking just when it's over. I think it works better as a mix in most cases. For that reason, watching 'La double vie de Véronique' was tough, kind of made me anxious. I felt there was something really meaningful to take from it but a piece was missing all along. But at the end it clicked. And I felt overjoyed. Like I've witnessed something really powerfull and beautiful. So I'll share my take on the meanings here, cause even though I read a lot of reviews saying this is more of a poetic experience, I do think there are many, that's not just a sensory experience.
Veronique is a girl with two lives, in two different places. None of them know it, but they can feel it even though they can't understand. One burned the hand on a stove, the other one for some reason reached out to touch the stove but pulled it away just in time. She couldn't know that it would burn her hand, but she felt it nonetheless. Time passes by and they're adults. You're following their lives but intentionally Kieslowski doesn't make it clear which one is. You discovery one of them is having some weird dizziness. She doesn't give that much tought. Later on, she's playing on a concert and start feeling that again. Few moments later she falls on the floor and die. The other one life continues. You can see she lets herself vulnerable in many situations.
At the end, you discover the one who's still alive is the one who burned the hand as she touches the tree. For me, the burning works as a metaphor. The main difference between both is one felt the pain as she always let herself vulnerable to living and learning, the other one always managed to avoid these painful feelings because unconsciously she already knew that would hurt. So when life gave her signals that something was wrong she couldn't notice, because she didn't understand the danger. She never felt it. She never went through the obstacles by herself.
For me this a statement from Kieslowski. Even a celebration to the pain you go through life. They're necessary. They are part of the growth and they make you who you are. You can always learn from your experiences. Deprive yourself from the pain is a mistake. Maybe that won't kill you, but maybe you'll never be fully alive either.
Talking about the beauty in the photography of Kieslowski would be a understatement by now, but I can't help to reinforce how much I'm a fan of his work. I'm blown away, simples as that.