Tuesday, November 23, 2010

#109. Three Colors: Red (1994)

DVD Synopsis: Red is a seductive story of forbidden love – and the unknowable mystery of coincidence. The final chapter in Krzysztof Kieslowski's acclaimed "Three Colors" trilogy, Red stars sexy Irène Jacob (Victory, My Life So Far) as a young model whose chance meeting with an unusual stranger leads her down a path of intrigue and secrecy. As her knowledge of the man deepens, she discovers an astonishing link between his past... and her destiny!

By combining romance with intrigue, Red , the final film in director Krystof Kieslowski's Three Colors Trilogy, demonstrates that sometimes love, and even heartache, are a simple twist of fate away. 

While watching Red, I was struck by the realization that its characters, in all likelihood, were destined to meet each other, doing so at the exact moment, and in the precise manner, that fate had intended. Valentine (Irene Jacob) meets the judge (Jean-Louis Trintignant) when she inadvertently runs over his dog. This meeting leads Valentine to the discovery that the judge has been eavesdropping on his neighbor’s telephone calls for years, and her obvious disgust for his actions shames the judge into turning himself in to the police. But Valentine herself would also benefit from this meeting; when the cynical judge, in trying to defend his actions, professes his belief that man’s most primitive nature will show its ugly face in almost any situation, it awakens Valentine to the reality of her long-distance love affair with Michel, which has grown stagnant. Suddenly, Valentine is asking Michel the tough questions (when she asks Michel during one of their many phone conversations if he loves her, the voice on the other end of the phone replies, quite unconvincingly, “I think so”). It's a meeting of chance that leads two characters to ponder their lives at that moment in time, and it won't be the last coincidence to be found in Red.

With Red, director Kieslowski brings his trilogy to a close, and does so in excellent fashion. When delving into the ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity in these three films, Kieslowski did not tell grand stories; it’s quite common to think of these principles as they pertain to governments, societies, or even historically important uprisings. Instead, we’re shown how the three might affect life on a much more personal level, altering not thousands of lives, but one or two. In this trilogy, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity are whittled down to life-size, and as a result, we are treated to three unique, poignant and moving films of the spirit.

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