The double life of  Véronique

The double life of Véronique

DVD - 2007 | French
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Two women, complete strangers, are strangely linked to each other in this film that ponders the nature of intuition and the metaphysical connections between people. Weronika is a deeply spiritual Polish soprano and her double is Véronique, a more earthy French music teacher. Each senses the other and is affected by each other's experiences, though they have no conscious knowledge of a double's existence.

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DoctorVine
Dec 10, 2017

Well worth watching again and again. I saw more (and maybe understood more) each time.

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voisjoe1_0
Sep 16, 2016

This is a complex film involving two young women of like appearance, one in Poland and one in France who though a thousand miles apart seem to have some kind of spiritual connection. While the story seems to be of the two women, is the director mainly interested in the condition of the two countries? With this film, director Kieslowski makes his first film outside of his homeland, Poland, and is about to become internationally famous. The supplementary disc in this Criterion Collection version shows how Kieslowski ponders on every second of film and how to make each shot. Ebert eventually added this title to his Greatest Films Collection. Watch it as a pseudo sci-fi film, watch it for the cinematic creativeness, or watch it as just the story of two countries. I see a similarity to Antonioni's Blow-Up film - a combination of suspense and a discussion of photography's limited ability to represent the complexity of life.

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Nursebob
May 06, 2015

Legendary director Krzysztof Kieslowski excels at telling small tales with enormous implications as his beautiful protagonists are buffeted by forces beyond their control, whether they arise from random chance or preordained fate. In this his most commercially successful film he adds elements of the supernatural to explore issues of interconnectedness and personal freedom as two strangers unknowingly live parallel lives. Polish Veronica and French Veronique have never met nor do they know each other yet they could be identical twins. Both have been raised by single fathers, both find solace in music (one sings, one teaches), both suffer from congenital heart conditions, and both are troubled by the ambiguities of love—but whereas Veronique is cowed by life’s uncertainties, Veronica approaches it with enthusiastic abandon. Vaguely aware of their personal doppelgängers if only on an intuitive level, one woman’s tragic turn will have profound repercussions in the other’s life. Gorgeous cinematography filmed in muted pastels and accompanied by a soundtrack of plaintive baroque pieces certainly makes viewing "Double Life" a sumptuous experience—here a teabag slowly rotates in a steaming cup, here Veronique regards her potential lover (a puppeteer, significantly) through shifting panels of stained glass, and here a passing shadow falls across a sleeping figure as if it were a shroud. And throughout the film windows and mirrors offer up shifting reflections of our protagonists as if to emphasize the dual nature of their separate stories. Both a psychological treatise on the price we pay for every life choice made and a study in alternate realities or “what might have been” as one woman chooses safety while the other leaps towards her destiny. But despite Kieslowski’s solid reputation as a cinematic auteur, the film’s visual and auditory flourishes occasionally come across as so much arthouse affectation—arresting to see and hear but only serving to gussy up an already frustratingly opaque story. There’s no mistaking the star power of lead actress Irène Jacob however, her dual role as Veronica/Veronique bringing warmth and a depth of perception to an otherwise emotionally reticent work.

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