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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
Buena Vista Home Entertainment 12/94 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R - brief but strong sex scene

Valentine is a fashion model in Geneva whose boyfriend is overseas. Their only connection is by phone. While waiting for him to return, she feels isolated. In addition, Valentine worries about her brother who is a drug addict. Perhaps that is why she bumps into a dog with her car. The owner of the animal is a retired judge who has lost all zest for life. He is isolated and waiting for death to take him.

Krzysztof Kieslowski, the Polish director of Red, believes that chance encounters between people can lead to momentous changes in their lives — even spiritual transformations. This theme works its way through Red, the last of the director's trilogy of films about the colors of the French flag.

This intricately structured drama is a catalyst that compels us to think seriously about fraternity in a world where there are so many obstacles to communion between people. The phone is depicted here as a poor substitute for face-to-face meetings.

Once the judge gets to know Valentine, she opens up his life. In return, he sets up an opportunity for her to meet a law student who is very similar to what he was like as a young man. He also tells her about a dream he has had in which she wakes up and smiles at someone next to her.

Irene Jacob and Jean-Louis Trintignant put in exquisite performances as the two lead characters. Kieslowski is a sophisticated filmmaker who uses color, music, and innovative cinematic techniques to explore the ways in which people search for love and meaning in their lives. Red will convince you of the importance of chance encounters to both of these pursuits.


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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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