Tuesday, April 29, 2014

274 of 1001 Movies: The Double Life of Veronique (1991)

I can say that The Double Life of Veronique might be one of the most unique movies I've watched. The story is complex, and the movie is beautifully shot. The movie though is like many foreign movies I've watched, particularly with French origins, and that is it's a bit slow. There was something also forced about the acting. Don't get me wrong, the people are compelling, but they feel like they are pushing out the emotions and somehow over exaggerating moments of the movie. Don't let me get you down about it though, it's been a while a movie has been this good enough to keep me interested in a while on the list.

Summary: Weronika is an aspiring singer in Poland, and after being given the dream opportunity to attend the music school she has wanted to she suddenly dies. Not before discovering a woman who looks like her named Veronique who lives in France. Veronique feels the pull of her death, but has no idea what has happened to her as she has not seen Weronika before. Veronique even gives up her own chance to be a singer after the death.

Acting: The same lead actress portrays both the women who have the connection in the movie. To be honest though I didn't think she was too great at portraying two distinct personalities though. Both the girls felt like the same people even personality wise. The biggest thing they do to try to give these women different personas is cut their hair. Otherwise for most the movie she just seems bewildered and confused. It wasn't bad, just not varied enough to feel interesting.

Filming: Krzysztof Kieslowski does a great job with the cinematography of the movie. It does have this dark, fantasy vibe throughout the movie. The green, warm tone does a lot to create the eerie mood, but I also couldn't help but wonder why that was the tone the director went with. I didn't particularly find anything that creepy except the use of the marionettes. Other than that the story could have been more focused on creating a vibe for the feeling of human connection.

Plot: The plot moves pretty slow. Sometimes I felt there was so much focus on being way too graphic with sex and nudity that I miss some of the focus on how Veronique is suffering from the loss of the woman who looked liked her, and I also felt it was not well explored the connection carried between them. They both acted very vacant, even when something was great was happening to them. The two personalities weren't very distinct either to me. Then again I know people from these countries can be a lot less emotional, so while someone who is more that personality might relate to the lead and her scenario I was more loss on how to feel. You can't help but want to see where Veronique is carried by her curiosity, but I had this hunch it would go nowhere that feels satisfying.

I can see the appeal of The Double Life of Veronique, so don't get me wrong it isn't a bad movie by any means. I'm not used to this sort of movie though that relies more on surrealism than other story methods to convey a story. I think the movie is put together beautifully though with the balance of music and the way the movie is shot though to bring the story to life. Personally I just prefer more life from the characters.

Rating 6.5 of 10.

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