The Double Life of Véronique (1991)

“How did things go?”
Fine. I am even afraid that they went too well..

the-double-life-of-veronique

Directed by – Krzysztof Kieslowski
Written by – Krzysztof KieslowskiKrzysztof Piesiewicz

Kieslowski has his own way of dealing with mysticism, characters stretched vast across and yet so similar, touching each other’s life is ways one cannot imagine. In this film, he tries to tell what people feel and why they feel what they do, by connecting the lives of two girls – Veronica and Veronique – one from Poland, other from France, both played by Irène Jacob.

Veronika feels the presence of “somebody” and wants to know that person and then one day when she sees Veronique, she is contented to know that its true. Later, she chokes and dies while singing. As Veronique sheds a tear for a unknown sadness somewhere, she eventually stops practicing singing too. It all makes sense in the end when Alexander (Veronique’s lover) makes two puppets of Veronica saying ‘During performances I handle them a lot. They damage easily.’ It was almost like God talking – our puppeteer talking.

There is a lot of debate on Kieslowski’s pattern and meaning with colors. Here also, he has used a lot of greens and reds – the famous complementary duos – as Veronica and Veronique. The pattern that I have seen in almost all his films – is the use of coincidences as characters themselves. He seems to really believe in them and doesn’t want to know or wants us to know why they happen if they do. They just do.

I loved The double life of Véronique. Loved it so much.

Kickass torrent link to download – click here

Malèna (2000)

From now on, I’ll be at your side. Forever, I promise. Just give me time to grow up.

malena

Directed by – Giuseppe Tornatore

Malèna is a tragic story of a woman seen through the eyes of a 12 year old boy, Renato who falls madly in love with her. It is filmed under the backdrop of World War II when Italy goes to war against the allies. Malèna, who is exotically beautiful becomes a fantasy for every man, young and old of the town (Sicily) but when her husband dies in the war, she is seen as a whore. Only Renato knows that she is innocent. As the society taboos and feeds on her beauty, the ultimate renouncement takes place when the US takes over Sicily and there is complete chaos.

The film was too dramatic for me and I refuse to believe that people could be this mean (it was extreme here). But probably the treatment’s intention is to showcase it on the evil side, so as to make the audience empathise more. It works in a way, especially in the end when she is not as beautiful as she used to be and women start accepting her because of that – it does talk about the hypocrisy around us. And mind me, it was based in 40’s after all. I didn’t like the film that much, but there interesting subtexts to explore.

Most of them men reading this, might have already watched it, so I don’t really need to recommend. Its Monica Bellucci after all.

Kickass torrent link to download – click here

Three colours – Red (1994)

Three colours - red

Directed by – Krzysztof Kieslowski

The last film of the famous trilogy and also the most complex. That is explained from the theme itself i.e. red for fraternity. But then its not just the colour, its different shades that say different things. The film talks about the human nature of trying to connect ceaselessly. It doesn’t matter what we want, it doesn’t matter if we want to reach out or not. Every action of ours is affecting somebody or the other, somewhere we do not perhaps even know. And that Kieslowski has been brilliantly able to prove with peculiar co-incidences in Red.

The film is about Valentine, a part-time model and university student, a selfless person trying to see good in everything who meets Kern, a retired judge whose judgement on humanity is that they aren’t worth anything – a cynical sulker you might call. The narrative is a multi-layer reference to the meaning of fraternity – where people connect with each other in ways completely unimagined and where no one lives in isolation, shown from the perspective of two extreme opposites of human nature. I absolutely loved it.

PS – Its not the kind of film you watch and say how amazing it is. It is the kind of film that you watch, that takes time to sink into you. Its an unmatched experience. And I am glad it happened to me in my classroom at XIC. Thanks to Arun Sukkumar.

Kickass torrent link to download – click here

Three colours : White (1994)

Three colours white

Directed by – Krzysztof Kieslowski

As mentioned earlier in the post about the first trilogy, Blue, Kieslowski wants you to follow his colour very, very carefully. Here, the theme of the film is equality – represented by white. The first time you see white in the film, Karol Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski) looks up to admire pigeons flying and its the white shit that falls on him. Equality is thus bullshit and he definitely doesn’t have it, at least not in France.

The film is about a couple who are getting divorced because Karol is not able to satisfy his wife, Dominique’s (Julie Delpy) sexual needs. He asks her to come to Poland where everything will be ok again, but being French, she doesn’t want to leave.

When Karol goes back to Poland finally, he strives everyday to get one step closer to be reunited with his ex-wife. Here again, as in “blue” – the one that is to be attained – equality has been predominately denoted by a plaster bust of Marianne (France’s national emblem for liberty and reason) that breaks during his journey back to Poland and which he tries to fix (efforts to get his equality – to get even with his wife by having her back after she broke his heart).

My favourite film in the trilogy, the most relatable as well. It talks about desires, love and hope in the most beautiful way, never missing the political agenda of the period i.e. reference of Russia occupying Poland in many places. Must watch.

Kickass torrent link to download – click here

Three colors: Blue (1993)

Three colours - blue

Directed by – Krzysztof Kieslowski

Blue is the first of the Three colours trilogy (other ones are white and red) which are supposed to be based on the revolutionary ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity, respectively. It is very important to watch each of there with the feel of colours which speak loud and clear throughout.

Within first 10 minutes of the film, the entire background is established and that too with minimum dialogues where Julie survives a car accident but loses her husband, a renowned music composer and five year old daughter, Anna. She shuns herself off the world out of immense grief, by running away from everything that tethered her to the past in an attempt to achieve freedom. Now, this freedom is represented by blue which keeps repeating in different forms in the film but predominately stays as a small blue chandelier which is the only thing she keeps from her past.

With the revelation of her husband’s pregnant mistress she eventually realises the need to embrace who she really is, by accepting her music and allowing herself to love again. The blue is finally achieved in the end.

Its majestic.

Kickass torrent link to download – click here

Amélie (2001)

Amelie poster

Director – Jean-Pierre Jeunet

After I watched it, it did take me a long time to get over this film. Played by one of the most amazing and revered actresses of French cinema, Audrey Tautou, Amelie is a simple, innocent girl who has lived her entire life in a shell after her parents shunned her from the world outside for they erroneously believed that she had a heart defect. Living in her world of imaginations and fantasies to cope up with the loneliness forced on her, Amelie finally starts working as a waitress in a restaurant, in the process experiencing the many pros and cons of the world, from rude people to estranged love affairs. The tone of the film is set high contrast, making you wonder if its a fairy tale. The story that revolves around Amelie’s pure heartedness and goodwill that makes her find true love in the process, leaves with a broad smile at the end.

There will be blood (2007)

“I drink from your milkshake!”

There will be blood

Director – Paul Thomas Anderson

The title will either attract you or in an unpalatable way, repel the hell out of it. I had it in my watchlist for like 2 years but never had the guts to really watch it. But since Paul Thomas Anderson became a cult for me, I knew that I HAD to watch THIS. And boy,I didn’t know that a film could possibly go so bad in your head! It is about an oil man who with his adopted son aims to become the most powerful man in the business. The ups and downs of the journey, the risk in every step and then a mishap that makes the boy deaf – its the story of a power-hungry man and his conflict with life. Its gory. No, not the SAW series type. Its the kind of gore, you can feel seeping into your bones, with its music, dark transitions, exceptional performances by its terrific actors. I have no words for Daniel Day Lewis, I really don’t.