The Double Life of Véronique, one of the most acclaimed films by the masterful Polish auteur, Krzysztof Kieslowski (director of ‘Dekalog’ and the ‘Three Coulours Trilogy’), is a beautifully lyrical and enigmatic tale of duality and yearning. Co-written by Kieslowski’s regular collaborator Krzysztof Piesiewicz and shot by ‘Dekalog’ and ‘Blue’ cinematographer Slawomir Idziak, the film also features a haunting and unforgettable musical score by the incomparable Zbigniew Preisner.
Two young women lead totally separate lives in France and in Poland, one called Veronique and one called Weronika. They have no blood relation and they and their families have never met, but they are physically identical to one another, and strangely aware of each other’s presence.
Despite their different backgrounds, the two share the same likes and foibles, and above all both of them have a magnificent sublime voice and an extraordinary musical talent.
Unfortunately each girl suffers from the same, barely detectable, cardiac malformation. They also share the same wisdom, inspiring one to unconsciously avoid making the same mistakes in life as the other…
There are wonderful performances by the whole cast, but Irène Jacob is utterly captivating in the twin roles of Veronique and Weronika, her luminous performance both magical and unsettling.
A towering figure of Eastern European cinema, Krzysztof Kieslowski was born in Warsaw, Poland, on June 27, 1941. His formative years, spent under the specters of Hitler and Stalin, were nomadic; his father suffered from tuberculosis, and the family traveled from one sanatorium to another. At the age of 16, Kieslowski entered Fireman’s Training College. His stay was short-lived, instilling a lifelong loathing of uniforms and disciplines. To avoid military service he returned to school, later attending the Warsaw College for Theatre Technicians. In 1965, after several previous rejections, he was finally accepted into the famed Lodz Film School — the same institution which launched the careers of Roman Polanski, Andrzej Wadja, Jerzy Skolimowski, and Krzysztof Zanussi — and made his first short feature, Tramwaj (The Tram), the following year.
The communist-controlled Poland of the 1960s and 1970s was a nation of great political unrest. Consequently, film emerged as a crucial means… read more
Lo spazio filmico è altrove: l'autunno, la fotografia che scivola tra il verde e il rosso. La splendida Irene Jacob e una regia diligente di Kieslowski che ha saputo guidare l'enigmatico dall'inizio alla fine. In fondo se né Veronique sapeva cosa le stava succedendo perché dovevamo saperlo noi? Splendido.
Beautiful cinematography/mise en scene, the use of lighting to establish a surreal, otherwordly atmosphere standing out in particular. Yet despite the film's beauty and the performances, it ultimately proved to be a disappointing experience, mainly due to what I saw as Kieslowski's often naive and irritating mysticism, i.e. his belief in a world driven by a hidden interplay of destiny, secret meanings and intuitions.
One of those timeless films that completely overwhelms you with its dream-like beauty (primarily from the perfect employment of color temperatures) and ever-creeping sadness on the part of Presnier. You never want to leave such a world of awe-inspiring grandeur, but to experience the main character's inner sorrow is too much to bear.
Quand on aime le cinéma, on voit parfois des dizaines et des dizaines de films, des plus mauvais aux très bons, sans pour autant parvenir à retrouver avant longtemps celui qui parviendra à vous transporter… read review
What a beautifully radiant film. Kieslowski is one of those directors who I continually hear many praises for, and yet I have yet to dig into his films. It raises questions about fate, love, and that… read review
I started watching this film, and almost instantaneously I fell in love with it. Krzysztof Kieślowski created a dimension of fantasy that drew me in with the comedy of dwarves and flashers, the sweetness… read review