Three Colors: Red

1994

Drama / Mystery / Romance

28
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 94%
IMDb Rating 0 10 0

Synopsis


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March 05, 2018 at 12:07 PM

Cast

Juliette Binoche as Julie Vignon
Julie Delpy as Dominique
Irène Jacob as Valentine
Jean-Louis Trintignant as Le juge Joseph Kern
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
812.4 MB
1280*694
French
R
25 fps
1hr 39 min
P/S 1 / 30
1.52 GB
1920*1040
French
R
25 fps
1hr 39 min
P/S 3 / 45

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by highkite 10 / 10

The final chapter in a flawless saga

Trilogies are very interesting. Some go out with a bang (Lord of the Rings), some get progressively weaker (The Matrix), some get lost in obscurity (Blade, Back to the Future), but some maintain the genius, that seemingly ever-growing bright light that floats beyond the surface of its flawless exterior. Case and point: "Three Colors Trilogy". This chapter in the trilogy, being the last one, is the most philosophical and thought-provoking. In "Blue" we had a more visually stunning, more character-driven plot, in "White" it was more of a light hearted, narrative-driven story where we listen more to what the characters say than anything. "Red", however is focused on the "what ifs" and "how comes". It questions our own fate and focuses mainly on the past and the future than the present.

This chapter is about a young model who runs over a dog and brings him back to his owner. She soon finds out that the owner of the dog is actually a cynical retired judge who spies on his neighbors' phone calls through advanced spying equipment. All three films in the trilogies have very basic plot lines, but bring a lot more to the story. Consider in "Blue", the story of a woman dealing with the loss of her loved ones. We are constantly shown ideas about the contemporary French society and how that reflects the character's behavior. "Red" is not only about a young woman who finds shelter in an older man's life, but it is also about chance, hope, and fate.

Irene Jacob stars as Valentine Dussaut, who at first finds the old man (Jean-Louis Trintignant), whom we never find the name of, extremely self-centered and disgusting. Though through self reflective analysis, and her voyeuristic intentions, she learns that the judge would be the perfect man for her, if only he was 40 years younger. Irene lives across from another, younger judge, who highly resembles the old man. This is the "what if" that keeps circling in the movie. What if Irene were born 40 years ago? The old man would have been her perfect match. But what if the younger judge is actually her perfect match, since he so closely resembles the older one. Valentine doesn't know this, only we do, and Krzysztof Kieslowski subtly suggests this in almost every frame which Irene is in. We are constantly smacked in the face with his presence, as almost a suggestion of Irene's fate.

I mention that the old man does not have a name for a reason. That reason is because it is very symbolic to the overall theme in the story. We are to compare the old judge to Auguste (Jean-Pierre Lorit), the younger judge, in more than one way. We learn that the old man once had someone he loved but she got away. In another scene, we see Auguste heartbroken as the love of his life gets away with another man. There are constant reminders of whether or not Valentine will ever meet this man. Even though they pass each other without noticing every single day. There is also the motif of the telephone, to Valentine it is a way of keeping sane and updating her life, to Auguste it is what leads to his heartbreak, and to the old man, it is the only thing he has left. These three elements serve to shadow the characters own psychology. It is a sort of statement about what they are and who they are.

All three "Colors" films stand for a certain principle, most common in France. "Blue" stands for Liberty (the personal being), "White" stands for Equality (being accepted by more than one), and "Red" is Fraternity (to socialize, to learn). And although this final chapter is an obvious focus on the Fraternity principle, Kieslowski makes sure he brings in the other two as well, in order to connect all three stories. For example, we see the old man trying to reach out to Valentine and enlighten her with his spy equipment, which is a reflection of the Equality principle. We also see near the end that Valentine is doing some soul searching and that she's more concerned about herself than others (not picking up the phone when Michel calls), a clear example of Liberty. And with all three principles established, Kieslowski nicely connects all of the characters as well, in the final and most heartfelt scene.

"Red" is about where you could have been if you were older or younger. It is about whether or not there is someone completely perfect for everyone, and whether or not one person can change your life. The final chapter in the most awe-inspiring trilogy ever made, this film breaks barriers in both directing and storytelling. It is not only about our modern life, but about where life could and should be in our modern time. And although the movie is more subtle than both "Blue" and "White", it boldly exclaims a statement of love and compassion.

It's hard to imagine that "Red" was Kieslowski's last film, and that he died at such a young age. Nevertheless, the trilogy will always be his masterpiece and we will always remember him for his work that ranks right up with Bergman, Fellini, and Wenders as a truly remarkable director who's never been awarded with an Oscar. Kieslowski, you have been missed!

Reviewed by alientimes 10 / 10

Not a goof

In the "goofs" section for this film there's a comment to the effect that there is a mistake in continuity where Auguste's car is seen to be parked in a different place from that seen in a previous shot in the same scene. This is incorrect. One of the views is from Auguste's flat, the other is from Valentiné's flat across the street. The whole purpose of this segment is to show how Valentiné and Auguste - who may be made for each other - almost cross paths (as happens several other times) but never quite do so, until circumstances throw them together on the ferry at the end of the film. (And here there is the implication that Joseph has manipulated things so that Auguste is on that ferry, having inspected Valentiné's ticket to see which sailing she is booked on.)

Reviewed by nycritic 10 / 10

Prospero and the Magickal Storm of Coincidence.

It's almost impossible for me to sit down and write a conscientious review of THREE COLORS: RED without letting people in on some of the ideas that Krysztoff Kieszlowski has explored in the previous two entries to this fascinating trilogy. The more I see them and think of them, and imagine myself in their world, the more I get its theme: that we are more linked to each other than we would want to think ourselves, and all it takes is a little hand of fate to set some events in motion. In BLUE, Juliette Binoche played a grieving widow whose plan to live her life without connections to the past had her meet someone unexpected. In WHITE, an act of cruelty spawns an unlikely friendship between two men who will, against the odds, conspire to bring the perpetrator to justice and full circle. And now, in RED, all the elements of fate and apparent coincidence apply themselves into the meeting of a young Genevese model and a retired judge who has a habit of prying into other people's lives.

This young girl is appropriately named: Valentine (a luminous Irene Jacob), who has this radiance about her and even smiles openly while working the runway. Not that she is without some baggage: she has a boyfriend, unseen, who also demands to know what she is doing at all times, she has a brother who troubles her, and she rejects the advances of a photographer who is working on her image for a huge billboard. She strikes a dog while driving and nurses her back to health, but when she takes her to the owner, a retired judge (Jean Louis Trintingnant), he does not want her. "I want nothing," he coldly says, and elements of BLUE suddenly reveal themselves as this arrogant man, who also lives in anonymity and apparent, free-floating freedom, conducts surveillance on unsuspecting people. This male version of Juliette Binoche's character at first shocks Valentine -- she states she can only feel pity for him as she walks away in horror, but a chance event has her back at his place, and here is when he begins revealing who he is, and his great loss.

At the same time Kieszlowski is unfolding a parallel story: the story of a young man, Auguste (Jean Pierre Lorit), about to become a judge and who lives right across the street from Valentine -- but they keep missing each other. Chance is the word. Like Valentine winning the jackpot at the grocery story she visits, elements of chance pepper her life and Auguste's. He has a girlfriend who also supplies people with telephoned reports about the weather. One of them happens to be the old judge. He knows more about her than Auguste does, and he's never met her. Like God, or Prospero, he is slowly creating a storm which will crack the walls of this present state of conformity and bring a new meaning to the expression "We meet again." It's this parallelism between the old and young judge that makes RED so beautiful and transcendent, because time is, in reality, a lot more fluid than we would like to deem it. There are people whom we meet in life that if only we had been born in similar time frames, so many things would be different.

Such is the case with Valentine and the old judge. I believe that there is definitely a strong fraternity of souls tying them together in a tight bond: she is that woman whom he did not meet -- by chance or not -- and is, whether he knows it or not, trying to make amends, hence why he goes to the great risk of revealing his surveillance and becoming the social outcast. But it doesn't end there. One of the many links between the three movies is the character of an old woman walking to a large garbage container. Where Julie did not see her (and would not have helped her anyhow), and Karol fresh from his public humiliation sneers at her thinking, "Someone is worse off than I am," Valentine is the one who helps her. Frailty in need can happen anywhere, and Kieszlowski even applies it here in a minor character.

Now, RED is so much more than a story. Valentine, the old judge, Auguste, even Rita the dog: these aren't characters confined by storytelling. An American version would ruin the idea and commercialize chance encounters and even bring forth a dumbed-down ending. RED is so devoid of a linear, defined plot that anything could happen to any of these people and the possibilities that this story could have veered off in so many directions had one crucial element not taken place at the exact moment and place.

Adding to the concept of characters who mirror each other despite time frames or location is the theme of sexual betrayal. This is also an important and character defining element in all of the three films: in BLUE, Julie's husband had a mistress and she also betrays Olivier when it's become clear she's emotionally dead. In WHITE, Dominique has Karol listen to her moan over the phone (which becomes an important device in RED) as she has sex with a man while the billboard of Brigite Bardot's CONTEMPT looks on. In RED, the old judge's tale of love and betrayal gets re-enacted. And all this time, Valentine's billboard image looms over them like a presage of what is to come at the same time that Rita, the dog Valentine's car struck, bears seven pups, life renewed for the six major players in this complex trilogy obviously filmed with care and love. Why do I say six? You'll have to watch the movie and wonder.

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