Criterion Collection: Double Life of Veronique (Version française) [Import]
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Double Life of Veronique (Criterion Collection)
Filled with reflective surfaces and vivid colors, The Double Life of Véronique marks one of Krzysztof Kieslowski's most haunting films. Just as the director divided his time between his adopted France and his native Poland, the story involves two unrelated women who look exactly alike (both played by Red's Irène Jacob, who won the best actress award at Cannes).
The Polish Weronika, a classical singer with a heart condition, collapses during a performance, after which Kieslowski turns his gaze to the French Véronique, a music teacher who shares the same ailment (much like Kieslowski, who died after cardiac surgery in 1996). Véronique's life follows a similar track, while her affection for Alexandre (Philippe Volter), a puppeteer, suggests the working relationship between the actress and the filmmaker. It's Alexandre, after all, who draws Véronique's attention to the existence of her double (through a photograph she took on a trip to Krakow). In that sense, Kieslowski plays with art as much as identity. Instead of explaining the connection between the characters, he lets the mystery serve as its own reward.
In her commentary, Annette Insdorf (Double Lives, Second Chances: The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski) outlines the reasons she finds the film so metaphysically rich, from the insights into Kieslowski's background to Sawomir Idziak's inventive cinematography. Other extras include interviews with Jacob, Idziak, and composer Zbigniew Preisner; a featurette; a profile of the director; the alternate ending (which feels extraneous); three shorts (the best is 1980's "Railway Station," in which Kieslowski presents a throng of commuters from the perspective of a security camera operator); and an additional short ("The Musicians") about a band of factory workers by his instructor Kazimierz Karabasz. Kieslowski admired this heartfelt portrait for the way it expressed "the human need to create." --Kathleen C. Fennessy --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Drama, Fantasy, Music, 98 minutes, French and Polish Language
Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
Starring Irene Jacob and Philippe Volter
The Double Life of Veronique sparks all kinds of thoughts, makes me cry, and leaves me feeling like I entered another world.
The film is probably the most beautiful I have ever seen. The color palette is rich and places an emphasis on reds, greens and yellows. There are many instances of images viewed through things which distort reality: a clear plastic ball, mirrors, windows, reflections in glass and also a magnifying glass.
Music is a huge part of the experience, whether it's happening in the story or part of the soundtrack.
The first 30 minutes of the story concerns Weronika. She is Polish and a gifted singer. Weronika is so in tune with life that it's painful. When she sings, there is pure joy visible on her face. She ignores outside distractions such as pouring rain because she's so caught up in the moment. She makes love the same way.
Unfortunately, Weronika has a heart problem and drops dead while performing at a recital.
The film switches locations and we find ourselves in France with Veronique. She appears identical to Weronika and both women are played by Irene Jacob. Veronique seems to sense Weronika's death, although she can't pinpoint why she is feeling a sense of loss.
This is a film about connections and feelings. Are we alone in the world or are there people somewhere just like us? Do we share any kind of connection? Is any of this controlled by some higher power, or are events simply random? The "coincidences" in this film are too frequent for everything to be random, aren't they?Read more ›
Red, White and Blue are also wonderful movies by the same director.
To say this is 'one of the most beautiful movies and Kieslowski is a genius' is stating the obvious. It is a dream and ... who else to dream about, other than the beautiful Irene Jacob!
Irene herself is a dream in this movie as she portrays two gifted look-alike musicians, sharing the names Veronique (in France) and Weronika (in Poland). They share the same ill-health, destiny and sadness. And they share an unknown effect on each other's life, despite being worlds apart. The inexplicable depression that Veronique feels when Weronika dies while performing on a stage, makes you ponder 'whether in my life I too wasn't depressed for some or other inexplicable reasons?' 'Is there another I somewhere concerned about me?' 'Is that why I was sad during that time?' 'Is someone else sharing my sorrows being somewhere in this world?' 'Will I meet him/her sometime? Somewhere?' Yes, unanswerable questions, inexplicable feelings and surrealistic thoughts. That sums up this movie.
There is an excellent sub-plot too, a puppet and its master. It is very symbolic and highly metaphorical. I still don't think I understood it properly. The music is haunting. Like the violin in "Un Couer en Hiver", Veronique's vocal music stikes chord with you. It is enchanting and sad at the same time. Close your eyes and you are drowned in dreams!
Irene Jacob is dreamy and natural, aimless, sympathetic, gorgeous, child-like innocent and sexy at the same time. She definitely deserves all the awards for her stunning double role.
'La double vie de Veronique' comes out with flying colours when compared with Kieslowski's much acclaimed colour trilogy (White, Blue and Red). Watch this movie seriously, you will enjoy it. Thank you Kieslowski!
Most recent customer reviews
I enjoyed this movie. The script was well written, the actors were talented, and the cinematography was very well done.Published on March 15 2014 by KG
Director K. Kieslowski was not exactly a prolific director, and this makes 'Double Life of Veronique' all the more precious. Read morePublished on Oct. 18 2013 by FilmFan2010
Really better than the original VHS.
I hope trilogy will be available soon!
Blue, White and Red.
The late director Krzysztof Kieslowski had a magical style, and a subtle way of weaving exquisite stories with light and colour. Read morePublished on Nov. 9 2007 by EA Solinas
There are several things that previous reviewers here have written that are on target as far as the "artsy" nature of the film the nature of the interaction between director and... Read morePublished on Nov. 3 2007 by Laura Knight-Jadczyk
I recieved this movie with excitement only to watch it ith utter disapointment. The movie was completely detached. I prefer to feel the characters not just observe them. Read morePublished on June 16 2003 by Heather D-L
This is perhaps the most haunting and beautiful film ever shot. Its images breathtaking, and its storyline one of the most ambitious ever. Read morePublished on Oct. 8 2002
This is a great movie for those who like a great plot that contains
a good story line,that draws you into the scenes that include strong passion and sound