Three Colors: Red


Drama / Mystery / Romance

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 94%
IMDb Rating 8.1 10 71552


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March 05, 2018 at 12:07 PM


Juliette Binoche as Julie Vignon
Julie Delpy as Dominique
Irène Jacob as Valentine
Jean-Louis Trintignant as Le juge Joseph Kern
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812.4 MB
25 fps
1hr 39 min
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1.52 GB
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1hr 39 min
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Movie Reviews

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.

Reviewed by howie73 10 / 10

A masterwork

The final part of Kieslowski's trilogy based on the colors of the French flag finds the director at peace with the metaphysical and transcendent nature of the cinematic image. In Red, imagery is paramount, as well as the obvious but clever color coding. However, rather than adhering to empty aesthetic contrivances based on the 'cinema du look', Kieslowski's Red is a multi-layered, densely plotted meditation on the nature of fate and love. In Red, love and fate are intertwined but complex notions, dictated as much by the whims of human beings as the invisible parallel associations that seems to pass us by. You sense Red is really an allegory, a reenactment of Prospero's omnipresent gestures in The Tempest, yet it is more than its story appears. Red demands countless viewings, and in each viewing something new is discovered that weaves itself into the already immaculately plotted structure.

Although Red stands alone as a masterwork from Kieslowski, it's best viewed as part of the trilogy. Elements of Blue and White are referenced in Red, which knowing viewers will enjoy.

Reviewed by dromasca 9 / 10

Krzysztof Kieslowski's Testament

This is the last film of Krzysztof Kieslowski - one of the greatest directors in the history of cinema. He intended to retire after this film, so in a way it is his artistic testament. He died a couple of years after making the film, and though it is said that he intended to return to directing, Destiny decided that this was indeed his last. And what a film!

'Rouge' the last film in the three colors French trilogy is actually a very Swiss film. Set in Geneva, one of the two main characters is a Swiss retired judge, and Durenmatt immediately comes to mind. But there is more Switzerland in the cool atmosphere, in the lack of communication of the characters, in the politeness that envelops cruelty of life. Several characters who start with little relationship will come together at the end in a moving and human final, which only a great artist could have staged.

Little else can be said that was not said and written hundred of times. Yes, the film starts slowly, and the fans of the American style of action movies or melodramas will get discouraged first and will get lost as viewers. They deserve it. The film gets quality as it advances, and one of the not so hidden messages is that real life and real humans are more interesting than the Hollywood cartoon and plastic action and characters. Cinema quality is very original, the image being a 'Study in Red', as the title shows. Acting is fabulous, with Irene Jacob and Jean-Louis Trintignant - the later in what will remain probable the best role of his old age.

A great film. Seeing it again probably adds, and I am happy to have it recorded on tape. 9/10 on my personal scale.

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