Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Double Vie

The opening frame, an upside down landscape image, is an immediate indication of Kieslowski's talent at using the frame to suggest and symbolise the elements about to unfold. 'La Double vie de Véronique' is simultaneously poetic, magical, and melancholic.

Irene Jacob plays the polish Weronika from the outset. Her character is a musical, passionate, free spirit. She stumbles into her doppelganger the French Veronika, who is clearly on holiday but too busy taking photos and fails to notice Weronika.
Both characters share an unknown distraction, they sense they are not alone. Dreams and strange occurrences confirm this belief. We are drawn into the mysterious yet eerie tale of these otherworldly women.

Mirrors and reflections that appear throughout the film are all subtle hints at the other. A shared musical background could be coincidental but as the film continues we learn both characters have endless parallels. These little clues help uncover and bring the two together, proving that is is just more than mere chance. Veronika becomes intrigued by a puppeteer performing at the school where she teaches. This encounter is especially surreal and tender, it leads to Veronika's discovery of Weronika.
This part of the film really had a sense of child like awe and wonder for me, the kind that makes one want to look at the world with fresh eyes and just marvel and note all things mystical.

Having said that the viewer is left with a unresolved outcome all the more fitting and poignant to this fragile and wondrous tale.

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