The Double Life of Veronique
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Krzysztof Kieslowskis international breakthrough remains one of his most beloved films, a ravishing, mysterious rumination on identity, love, and human intuition. Irène Jacob is incandescent as both Weronika, a Polish choir soprano, and her double, Véronique, a French music teacher. Though unknown to each other, the two women share an enigmatic, purely emotional bond, which Kieslowski details in gorgeous reflections, colors, and movements. Aided by Slawomir Idziaks shimmering cinematography and Zbigniew Preisners haunting, operatic score, Kieslowski creates one of cinemas most purely metaphysical works: The Double Life of Véronique is an unforgettable symphony of feeling.
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
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Video & Audio
Veronique comes to BD courtesy of Criterion and as you might expect, the results are superb. The image is immaculate boasting well defined colors, strong contrast and amazing detail. There are no signs of damage, artifacting or any other compression issues. A spectacular transfer.
Likewise, the 2.0 DTS-HD MA is pretty strong with no signs of hiss or damage. Dialogue and music is always clear and directionality is well done. A great audio presentation.
Veronique comes with a great assortment of bonus features:
First you have an interesting audio commentary by Annete Insdorf which is an expert on Kieslowski.
Then you have four short films: The Musicians, Factory, Hospital and Railway Station. The first one was directed by Kieslowski's teacher and the other three were done by Kieslowski himself. They are very special treat and should not be missed.
Then you have Dialogue with Kieslowski which is a long interview with the director that is mixed with behind the scenes footage from Veronique. Another must see!!
Then you have an interesting documentary about Kieslowski's early years and how he became the famous director he is now.
Then you have three great interviews: one with cinematographer Slawomir Idziak, the other with composer Zbigniew Presiner and the last one with actress Irene Jacob.
Also you have the US ending wich is a little longer but doest not add much to the film.
A booklet is also included which includes an essay by scholar Jonathan Rommey and a long interview with Kieslowski about the making of the film. It's a must read and helps you understand better the movie.
The Double Life of Veronique is undoubtebly a modern classic and a must see for everyone. This BD set is amazing boating truly amazing video and audio and offering a lot of quality of bonus material. This set comes Highly Recommended!!!