DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE, THE: DVD
Aspiring soprano Veronika (Irene Jacob) lives in Poland; music teacher Veronique (Irene Jacob ) lives in Paris. They both feel a profound connection with someone they don't know ... somewhere. Veronika wakes up one day from a strange dream and tells her father she feels she is not alone and begins to suffer bouts of breathlessness. On a Polish stage during her debut solo performance, she collapses and dies. Veronique, in Paris, teaches music, visits her father in the country and begins to feel a void in her life.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
This is Krzysztof Kieslowski's first film made in France, in 1991, and just before his celebrated Three Colours trilogy. The Double Life of Veronique is a world away from those three films - both literally and thematically, although there is a symbolic link, because first we meet Veronika who lives in Poland and then Veronique who lives in Paris. Irene Jacob plays both in this enigmatic film, which could be seen as a spiritual jigsaw puzzle, or a duality mystery. Even in alluding to the film's subject, there is confusion and obfuscation.
It isn't necessary to try and resolve the puzzle intellectually; one interpretation, of course, is that it's an exploration of that vague question we all may have entertained: is there another version of me somewhere?
The two young women, identical in age and looks, seem to share an unstated, unknowable bond, even though neither is able to explain or articulate that bond. The film is resistant to intellectual analysis, or even to simple detective work to unravel its precise outline or intent. But it provides riveting images, an intriguing scenario and a fabulous performance from Irene Jacob; she won the Best Actress Award at Cannes and was also nominated for a Cesar. At the end, you may decide that like David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, Krzysztof Kieslowski's Veronique is a puzzle in progress, perpetually. Perhaps like life. And, like life, it doesn't always unravel into a neat solution or answer.
Published January 3, 2008
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DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE, THE: DVD (M)
CAST: Irene Jacob, Phillipe Volter, Wladyslaw Kowalski, Jerzy Gudejko, Halina Gryglaszewska, Kalina Jedrusik, Jan Sterninski, Aleksander Bardini, Lorraine Evanoff, Sandrine Dumas
PRODUCER: Leonardo de la Fuente
DIRECTOR: Krzysztof Kieslowski
SCRIPT: Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzysztof Piesiewicz
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Slawomir Idziak
EDITOR: Jacques Witta
MUSIC: Zbigniew Preisner
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Patrice Mercier
RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes
PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD 5.0
SPECIAL FEATURES: Conversation with Krzysztof Kieslowski ; Interview with Irene Jacob; Documentary on Polish cinema; Collection of short films by Kieslowski
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Madman
DVD RELEASE: March 31, 2006