Posts Tagged 'amelie'

A Double Life.

Scene from The Double Life of Vernonique (1991) [photo from Tumblr]

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I have a feeling that I’ve thought about the possibility of a “double life” before, but until I saw this film, my ideas were never clear.

There is one scene in particular which I loved, and it may have been the most important. It’s when Weronika sees Veronique from a distance and is mystified by their obvious symmetry (see screencap above).

During this scene, Weronika stares at the other woman with a stab of wonder at what seems to be impossible. Yet, owing to a mixture of odd feelings she had shared to her father many scenes earlier (“I feel that I am not alone in the world.”), she knows that she is not making insane speculations.

As Weronika follows Veronique’s movements with her eyes, I plead with her to move her limbs and follow the woman physically. Would you, if if you were to see someone who seemed to be an exact replica of you, be so curious enough to follow that person–just to observe, close up, how that other person differs from you? I keep thinking it’s what I would do. Examine the coordinates of our moles, check for birthmarks and scars, pitch of voice, shape of eyes… But then again, it might be terrifying, seeing a thinking entity who may have just stepped out of your mirror impersonating your gait and mannerisms. So, I reconsider and posit that perhaps Weronika’s reaction was sensible (although she hardly seemed to be daunted by her walking, smiling, other). She left it a mystery half-solved, to be thrust in a drawer, never to be opened again. Perhaps nothing is to be gained by acquainting with one’s “double,” (if there were such a thing) and the two worlds are best left alone. It is a sad thought, I think. It would be exciting–at least for the film–if they had really met. What would happen then, especially if we consider the idea that they are not supposed to meet? Would the world be in chaos because of a chance encounter?

From this I gather that Kieslowski is a smart fellow to play with our minds and make us see things we never saw before. I didn’t appreciate the movie that much right after I saw it, but now I feel its magic, although belated, circulating in my system.

The Double Life of Vernonique may not appeal to everyone, or immediately, such as in my case, but it is art in a great form. [That being said, I do not think Amelie (2001), which people on IMDb keep comparing it to, is lesser of an art just because it appeals to a wider audience. In fact, I find it atrocious to even think of comparing these films and concluding that because one is about love–a force that hooks a vast majority of viewers–it pales beside the deeper, “darker” film. I loved both films and think that this feat is pointless.]

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