Kieslowski – Art and Messages – Section 3. Plot Summary of The Double Life of Veronique

Summarizing the plot of any movie is hard to do without relying on one’s interpretation of what that movie is about. One has to select just certain items from the movie as important elements of the plot but one’s view of importance is influenced by one’s beliefs regarding the director’s intent. In the case of The Double Life of Veronique this problem is exacerbated because the movie is not constructed around a clear plot line Thus I confess that my plot summary below is tied to some degree to my view about what Veronique is “about” as discussed in section 5.

With that caveat here is a plot summary:
• In Poland, Weronika, a young singer/pianist lives with her widowed father
• Wonderful, magical, and horrible things happen to this young, somewhat naïve woman

o She wakes from a dream with a strong feeling she is not alone
o Leaves home to visit her “ailing” aunt in Krakow
o Serendipitously she gets a chance to audition for a major singing role – and she wins the competition
o She has a heart condition but apparently does not get care for it
o She sees a woman who looks exactly like her and dresses like her on a tour bus

• During the concert, at a dramatic moment of the music, she has a heart attack and dies

• In France Veronique is romantic young woman, who looks enough like Weronika to be her twin

o She too has a very close relationship with her father who is also a widow

• As with Weronika, strange and wonderful things seem to happen to Veronique

o She suddenly feels a sense strong sense of loss – but doesn’t understand why
o Unlike Weronika she suddenly and unexpectedly gives up a career at which she is very talented, we assume it is singing but are not told so directly
o We find out she too has a heart condition but she is getting treatment
o She is a music teacher at school and one day the school puts on a marionette show

• The show is like a play within a play as in it a ballerina apparently dies and then seems to brought back to life as a butterfly
• Veronique is captivated by the puppeteer and finds out he also writes children’s books
• She tells her father that she feels like she is falling in love but doesn’t know who it is and doesn’t understands it

o She ends up having a relationship with the puppeteer.

• Through him she sees a picture she took of Weronika, and she reacts with great sadness
• She comes to believe the puppeteer is using her to develop ideas for his books,

• At the end she leaves the puppeteer and goes back to her father’s home

To return to the Contents of “Kieslowski – Art and Messages” click the link below


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