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Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars Quiet and beautiful, 31 May 2011
This review is from: Three Colours: White [DVD] [1994] (DVD)
This is the second part in Krystof Kieslowski's Three Colours trilogy, looking at the idea of equality. The story focusses on the fall and rise of Karol, a Polish hairdresser whose world is destroyed when his French wife divorces him, leaving him homeless and broke in Paris.

He is given a mote of hope of returning to Poland when a man identifies the tune he was playing on a piece of paper and a comb as being Polish, and offers Karol passage back to Poland, on the proviso that he kill a man who wants to be killed but lacks the courage to commit suicide. Karol, faced the moral dilemma, agrees to the deal, and smuggles himself inside a suitcase.

In a slight swipe at the airline industry, the suitcase gets lost and Karol finds himself home, but isolated. I shan't spoil it by telling you what he ultimately does with regard to the moral dilemma, though the story does progress beyond this. Through some new found-cunning, he engineers a windfall for himself and establishes a good business, though also creates some enemies at the same time. His enduring love for his ex-wife remains and he finds a way of bringing her to Poland so that she can share in his success. But she too is left with a moral dilemma (the details of which I shall not spoil) and she can show that she still loves him by an act of self-sacrifice, or she can leave him in Poland as she previously left him in Paris. The final scene of the film portrays the consequence of her decision in a wordless series of images that speak a thousand words.

At all times, the film is whisper, rather than a shout, and so the experience of watching this compared to a Hollywood blockbuster is like the difference between sitting by a quiet lake and sitting on a roller-coaster. It will not be everyone's taste, though I enjoyed it immensely.
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