THREE COLOURS - RED
DIRECTOR: KRZYSZTOF KIESLOWSKI
COUNTRY: POLAND/FRANCE 1994
CINEMATOGRAPHY: PIOTR SOBOCINSKI
MUSIC: ZBIGNIEW PREISNER
CAST: Irene Jacob, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Frederique Feder, Lean Pierre Lorit
SOUND BY: Jean Claude Laurenx
SUPER FEATURES: The filming style.



Of the Three Colours trilogy, RED is the one film that looks the best of them all. It isn't as funny as BLUE, or as interesting as the situation in WHITE, but it does have other things going for it, which the other two films did not. RED is the best done of the three films, and the one that does not look like it was done with left over film stock. It is much more polished, and cleaner than the other two. And the difference shows in the film.

But it does have one other thing. The other two films establish a story line. This one doesn't. One wonders where the whole thing is going, and then the film leads up to a rather unusual and ethereal ending. For Valentine, this is a poetic justice type of ending. For the retired judge, a relief, and a release. And for the director, all anyone can say is, please do not let this be the end of your film career.

Valentine is a model, whose face is being carried in an advertising campaign. But she does not seem to live the life of a model. Rather, she lives in a bit of her own world, one where her inner curiosity and ability to read into things, seems to be more important. She meets a retired judge, who spends his time wire tapping many of his neighbours and friends. He never does anything with these things, but it entertains him. Valentine is appaled by the whole thing. And the judge ebters into a clean up campaign, culminating with him turning himself over to the authorities. But he has suceeded in freeing himself of his past, and what might have been bad decisions on the bench which trouble him.

And when the whole thing comes to an end, Valentine leaves for London where she is now ready to undertake modeling full time. At this point a sort of twist ending comes into play. Valentine did a good deed, and gets "rewarded" by surviving, which seems to be the whole point of the film.

This is a simplified view of the story. There are details within which make it a very interesting film, which has, as is usual of the Kieslowski mode, an excellent shooting style, and some magnificent music to go along with it.

Excellent, as Valentine, is Irene Jacob, who was also a part of Kieslowski's other excellent film, LA DOUBLE VIE DE VERONIQUE. She adds something to the film which is a bit of depth, which the lead women characters in the other two films were not quite able to do. Either way, the other two films in the trilogy still have shown a bit of the mix in impossible relationships and how to get them working, if at all. In all three cases, the women do not make a good match with the people they are involved, but they at least try. The main theme, is TRY. Valentine does, and does not give up until it is done and over with.

The camera, in this film is the nicest thing. It knows when to get close, and when to stay away, and it does not allow for an over emotional display by the characters, bu getting too close to them, except Valentine, which is probalby the way that we would aproach any similar situation. In this style, we are the person in the room, which is also sharing the events. A nice way to get us involved in the situation, and add an attraction to the film which could otherwise not be noticed, or affect us. If we get too much into Valentine, the judge loses much of his ability to explain and find himself. And if we get into the outside story of Valentine, her life, we lose touch of the judge, who happens to be the one person who helps Valentine come to understand a little of herself, and allow her to make her final decision to undertake her life as a model.

It is a peculiar mix, and a very nice touch, which adds to the legacy of this very nice director, whose work may now be on hold because of the financial problems he had in putting together this trilogy. Part of the problem is the way that european communities work together these days, and when a film maker comes up with an idea, he has to work with two or three types of people altogether, and the tendency still is for things not to work. During BLUE and WHITE, Kieslowski ran out of funds. With RED, he had the funds, but there were some serious problems with the filming part, which should have been easier. The film, however, does not show any signs of this problem, unlike the other two which have some very obvious bits here and there which show some problems.

Excellent stuff, even my roomate wondered what this film was all about, but it is good, and very nicely developed story. worth the time, if you are into films that do not give anything away. You are there to discover it all, just like the characters.

4.5 GIBLOONS

 

   

      

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