The double life of veronique(1991)
The Movie & the Music
Only a few of the previous comments on this movie has mentioned the use of
music. Just like in Trois Couleurs Bleu, the music of La Double vie de
Véronique is very indivisible from the film: the visual and the auditive
form a united whole and also elements of it are directly part of the story.
And when it comes to music made for film, Zbigniew Preisner's powerful score
for this one is as good as it gets.
When there is little dialogue, it is not just the images and expressions on
Irène Jacob's face that tells the story, but also the powerful strains of
music intermingled with it.
Even with just these elements in place, it would be a movie worth seeing,
though obviously a narrative based in little extent on dialogue and with
less emphasis on a clear-cut story than your average American movie is
unfortunately lost on some of the earlier commentators.
And even this seemingly sparingly laid out narrative reveals itself to the
careful watcher to be a rich tapestry of symbols, metaphors and hidden
meanings. Kiéslowski, just as in his other movies, demands participation of
the viewer, and the one who expects passive entertainment has found the
wrong film to watch.
Krzysztof never liked discussing meaning when it came to his movies, but
liked keeping that up to the viewers, and few other directors have ever been
able to lay out more food for thought and fruitful interpretation than
I saw the Three Colours trilogy before seeing Véronique, and the many
similarities, both musical and in visual narrative, makes it feel like it
almost belongs together with those three to form a quartet. In some ways it
has more in common with Blue than Red and White do.
Had Juliette Binoche also been cast in the role of Véronique, as I
understand that Krzysztof originally had intended, the similarities had been
even greater. She was, however, occupied with shooting Les Amants du
Pont-Neuf at the time I believe, and so Krzysztof opted for the less
experienced Irène. I don't think the film is any worse for it: she is
brilliant, and not just a pretty face as some people put it, but a very
intelligent and aware actress as anyone who has seen her interview for the
Red DVD release should discover if they haven't already.
In short: a wonderful film, wonderful music, great acting. But not a movie