This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Double Life of Véronique

This movie is #14 on the ICS Top 100 of the 1990s.

I have never seen, nor do I recall hearing about this one, and the director was responsible for the The Three Colors trilogy, which I did watch.

This one confused me a bit and while I enjoyed the cinematography and the lead actress, the story left me wondering if I was lost in translation.

The story is about Weronika and Véronique, two different women; one from Poland, the other from France.

I think I did not "get" this initially so all I really felt introduced to was Weronika. I fell for her instantly and when she died, I was like 'WTF? The movie just started and I lost the main character?!' I was stunned. Weronika was beautiful and fun.

Véronique is now, what I thought, introduced to us. Well, we meet her when Weronika sees her alter-ego (more like doppelganger...which, BTW, is one of my favorite words) in a town square, while Véronique is vacationing in Poland. Weronika is mesmerized; I am confused.

I take a sneak peak on IMDB and figure out that the story is indeed about two different women, who live parallel lives. They both sing. They both have heart problems. And both make choices about what to do with their lives. Weronika chooses to sing and ends up dying at her first performance, as she sang beautifully but collapses from what appears to be a heart attack.

Véronique, on the other hand, decides to quit her singing career and becomes a music teacher. This would seem to be an interesting storyline but another odd factor enters the picture: Véronique receives a mysterious package which contains a leather strap...the same leather strap that Weronika wraps her finger around while singing for someone, who later is responsible for her being hired to perform.

Who sent the strap is never answered. Or it is and ends up that the marionetteer that Véronique meets, and subsequently sends her a mysterious (and creepy) tape recording. Why would he do that doesn't make sense (for either package received).

The cinematography - just the way the scenery and imagery was filmed - is quite beautiful and haunting. The actress who plays Weronika/Véronique, Irène Jacob, is simply beautiful beyond words. I was entranced by her and realized that she is also in The Three Colors trilogy (which I will be watching again, since each movie from this trilogy are in the top 100), as well as in Au revoir, les enfants, another movie that I have been wanting to see for a long time.

The puppeteer was played by a very sexy actor, Philippe Volter...who I looked up, only to find, sadly, he committed suicide in 2006. The marionette part of the movie is probably the best for me - creepy and haunting to a soundtrack that is just as creepy and haunting.

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