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Trois Couleurs: Blanc

This is the second movie in the Trilogy “Trois Couleurs” by Krzysztof Kieslowski, the same director who created Decalogue. White depicts purity. It also depicts Equality…or getting equal, as in this movie. How far would you go to get equal with a wife who humiliates you publicly in a French Courtroom while seeking a divorce? Karol’s wife wants a divorce because their marriage hasn’t been consummated. Karol still loves her, but being a Polish citizen, his rights in Paris are very limited. After the divorce, he finds himself homeless and on the streets, only with a suitcase for company. How he gets out of France and take revenge is what needs to be seen. Then again, would I really call it revenge? I don’t think so.

 What follows is a detailed plot to get his wife back to Poland, even though it might mean proving that he is dead and that his wife killed him. He devises his own supposed murder and frames his wife as the murderer, with the help of a fellow countryman, who also helped him get out of France in a suitcase. She is taken into custody and sentenced for life. But before she is convicted, he does meet her for one last night after he sees her crying at his funeral in the morning. He is finally happy to see that his wife does suffer for him. 

After she is convicted, Karol comes and sees her, through his binoculars, while she waits at her prison window, both happy…finally realizing that she loves him. You see, staying together in the same city, in Warsaw, Poland, knowing that they love each other even though they can only see each through binoculars is better than staying in two different countries, where one ‘thinks’ that he hates the other person. Probably one of the most touching scenes in the movie is the last one: Karol stands at the main entrance of the Polish prison and his wife is standing at the prison window. He looks at her through his binoculars. She knows that he’s come to look at her. She makes hand movements to tell him that she loves him and is thinking about their wedding day. He looks at her silently, with tears dripping down his cheeks, happy to know that they are in the same city, filled with love in their hearts.

The original movie is in French with English subtitles. This is one of the best movies I have seen so far. I can’t wait to watch the last one in the series, called Red.

Here’s a scene from the movie:


10 thoughts on “Trois Couleurs: Blanc

  1. oh yeah..try and watch it if you can. You can search for some scenes on youtube. Here, I added a trailer to give you a general idea. I think Kieslowski is one of the best directors out there…do you watch foreign films?

  2. I’ve only watched the 1st film from the trilogy, Blue, the one with Juliet Binochet. I loved it…the political subtext to these films are a lot like Kundera’s Unbearable Lightness of Being.

    What I loved about it were the blue filters used for some scenes. I presume the other two films will have used white and red filters as well. Plus it’s extremely engaging, emotionally and viscerally.

    Great review btw.

  3. @Presti, I’m so glad you saw Blue 🙂 We should have a movie match someday and see who wins…haha. This one uses White fiters, yes. Karol is shown puking into a white pot and the tissue holder next to him is white too. Then, the lead lady is shown against a white background most of the times. Some scenes fade into the color white too. I was listening to the commentary provided with the movie and that is when I understood some of the subtleties. Have you seen Decalogue btw? In case you haven’t, then don’t miss it. It is a series of 10 short movies. All equally stunning.

  4. @Patrick, I love Akira Kurosawa’s movies. He makes such fine ones! I’m sure you have watched his stuff.

    @Presti, Yeah, probably you will. But even if I get half as many right as you will, then I’ll be happy 😉 Do check out Decalogue…and then do a review on it 🙂

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