There are some movies that I can watch over and over again and never tire of. Hannah and Her Sisters, Annie Hall, Amelie, Red and The Philadelphia Story are among them. So is The Double Life of Veronique. As I viewed it again two days ago, I started to think about why this film intrigues me so...and there are many reasons. The story involves two women, one the Polish Weronika and the other the French Veronique, both played by Irene Jacob. They are doppelgangers but with only a vague awareness of one another, but they share similar characteristics, although the choices that they make shape their lives in different ways. I don't want to write too much about it and take away from the experience of watching it for the first time, if anyone feels moved to do so.
What I will say though is that the film is personally inspiring to me. The acting and storytelling are so subtle that I find myself going back again and again, and picking up on things that I hadn't noticed or realized before. The dots don't connect in this movie (as in many of director Krzysztof Kieslowski's films), there are really no answers, but instead it poses so many questions and leaves the viewer to consider the answers while also thinking about his/her own view of life and its meaning including the question of free will. But the movie comes across as more emotional than intellectual in tone and I always find myself in a sort of dreamy state after seeing it. Its also a visually beautiful movie and the filmmakers wove references to the double lives of the two women into the shots, including reflections in glass.
I love the ambiguity of it all. I read somewhere that Kieslowski wanted to edit the movie several different ways (I believe eight or ten) and then play all of the versions in one town at the same time so that people could view as many of them as they wanted. Unfortunately, the idea was too expensive to realize, but it would have been fascinating to see the multiple ways in which he conceived of the story.
Two days ago, I also found myself admiring the French Veronique's early 90's wardrobe. All of the sudden I had the urge to find a pair of ankle boots and start wearing pear shaped coats and flowy '90s dresses. I couldn't find a very good picture of the dress that I'm thinking about, but below is the one shot I could find. I'm not going to give up my current wardrobe any time soon, but I did find a whole other reason to enjoy watching this movie as well as another reason to go back to it again and again...and again:)