My Thoughts on Kieslowski’s “Three Colours” Trilogy
I’ve always been interested in French cinema, from the comedic and sweet (Amelie) to the disturbing and tragic (Irreversible). I thought it was finally time I catch up with some more, and decided to acquaint myself with Kieslowski and his famous Three Colours (or Trois Couleurs, if you prefer) trilogy.
For those of you who are unaware of the trilogy, it is a series of three seemingly unrelated films named for the colours of the French flag (Blue for Liberty, White for Equality and Red for Fraternity) which study contemporary French society through the eyes of a lonely widow, a desperate hairdresser and a curious model, respectively. It is an excellent and intriguing trilogy which kept my full attention the whole time, and after Red’s fabulous final scene, I wanted to go back and watch the whole trilogy once more. Which I did.
Blue tells of the sad, lonely woman (Juliette Binoche) whose husband and daughter have just died in a tragic car accident. Binoche’s character is confused, alone and estranged amongst society, at first repressing emotions and struggling to figure out what to do. However, a few chance encounters with a few certain people change the way she thinks about her husband and herself.
White tells of the homesick Polish hairdresser Karol Karol, whose wife has just divorced him simply because he can’t get it up. He is alone and questioning; without his wife his life means nothing. His wife frames him for burning down a building, and so, with the police searching for him and without a passport, he very creatively sends himself back to Warsaw. It is a common love story, but a unique and touching one.
Red tells of the model (Irene Jacob) who, after running over a dog stumbles into the world of a lonely, voyeuristic old man who eavesdrops on his neighbour’s conversations. Their quirky but poignant relationship leads them along an unpredictable plot; a journey of discovery, whilst simultaneously we are presented with the story of a young law student who discovers his girlfriend is cheating on him. Red is certainly stronger and more powerful than the others, and that’s not just because of the final scene, but rather because of the way it presents us with its story, which is unique and unlike its predecessors. There is some sort of magic in the air here, faint but strong, which leads us along a magical path to the other side, a mixture of utopian fantasy and dystopian reality.
Disaster strikes in some form at various moments without the trilogy, and forces us to step back and examine the wreckage (whether real or metaphorical), and contemplate on how this affects us, how these films have affected us, and how these films could affect others. Kieslowski certainly knows how to tell a story, and we have him to thank for this amazing, enduring tale.
Posted on March 10, 2011, in Filmmakers, Movie Reviews, Movies and tagged drama, French cinema, Irene Jacob, Juliette Binoche, Krzysztof Kieslowski, movies, Three Colours. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.