Like The Middle Of An Oreo...
The second film in Krzysztof Kieslowski's "Blue, White & Red" trilogy, "White" (1993), is decidedly lighter in tone than its predecessor and should manage to appeal to a wider audience. In it we meet Karol Karol, a Polish hairdresser living in Paris who has just been divorced by his wife Dominique (the gorgeous Julie Delpy, who is not unfairly compared to the Brigitte Bardot of "Contempt" in this picture), due to a spell of impotence. At first blush something of a nebbish, Karol soon shows that he is nevertheless quite the resourceful character. Back in his wintry-white native land, he manages to somehow get back on his feet, rebuild his life despite numerous adversities--as had Juliette Binoche in "Blue"--and even contrive a get-even scheme involving his ex. As in the previous film, the directing and photography are just outstanding, and Zbigniew Zamachowski is at once sympathetic, funny and charismatic in "White"'s lead role. Sharp-eyed fans of "Blue" will note Ms. Binoche's Julie character in "White"'s opening courtroom scene, as well as the same old lady at the recycling bin (this latter background character would also, strangely, resurface in "Red"); just some fun elements to help tie this loosely linked trio of films together, I suppose. Despite being a bit more straightforward than the other two films in the trilogy, "White" still offers food for thought, as well as some puzzling moments. For example, viewers who will be able to interpret Delpy's hand gestures at the tail end of the picture are certainly better than me. (Then again, I've always been pretty bad at any hand pantomime more involved than a raised middle finger; guess I'd make a lousy deaf person!) Fortunately, Delpy explains these mysterious gestures for us in one of the DVD's copious extras. I'm also somewhat at a loss as to how the color white's corresponding to "equality" on the French flag pertains here. Are we supposed to think that Karol and Dominique are equals of sorts by the film's end? I suppose so. The white of the title can just as easily be regarded, though, as corresponding to the sweet and pleasing center of an Oreo cookie, in the middle of two decidedly darker segments...
- Sep 28, 2007
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