Friday, July 22, 2016

Sci Fi Top 100, #99: "Three Colors: Red" (1994)

Movie Stats:
Released 1994 (France)
French, Swiss & Polish, in French (subtitles available)
Director - Krzysztof Kieslowski
Stars - Irene Jacob, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jean-Pierre Lorit

Plot Summary:
When young model Valentine (Jacob) meets a retired judge (Trintignant) after accidentally running over his dog (don’t worry, the dog survives), they form an unlikely friendship. Lorit co-stars as Auguste, Valentine’s neighbor whose life intertwines with hers, even though they don’t know one another.

Very brief male nudity (butt only); very brief sexy times.

Bad Stuff:
The pace is quite slow, with little action.

I didn’t care much for the dialogue. I didn’t find it believable that people, especially strangers, talk to one another that way. Also, it occasionally bordered on the ridiculous. For example (and this happened more than once) -
Valentine: /rattles off some personal detail of the judge’s life that she couldn’t possibly know
Judge: “How did you know that?”
Valentine: “It’s obvious.”
Me: “No, no it’s not!”

You definitely won’t forget the name of this movie. The use of the color red throughout is practically oppressive.

Good Stuff:
Great cinematography.

I loved how sparse and simple it felt at times. I particularly enjoyed the long shots with Valentine when she was completely silent, whether in a room with another person or not. It gave such a strong sense of how introverted she was.

Really nice character development, particularly for the judge.

The Verdict:
Red is the final movie in a trilogy (Blue, White, Red; the colors of the French flag), although the movies are only connected by the last scene of Red. I saw the whole trilogy 20 years ago, not long after it came out. While I like this film, I was perplexed to find it on a list of sci fi movies. Having watched it again, I’m still perplexed. There’s certainly a strong element of magic realism to it, but I still can’t stretch my imagination far enough to think of it as sci fi. I wouldn’t dissuade you from watching it. In fact, I recommend watching the trilogy, in order. However, don’t go into it expecting science fiction out of it.

I give this film 3.5 stars.


Patricia said...

Ah, from the days of working at Blockbuster. I know I watched Blue and White via free employee rental, but I cannot remember if I got around to Red. Perhaps I did and have forgotten.

balyien said...

The one I can never remember at all is White, even though I know I watched it. I'm always like, "Um, Julie Delpy is in it." And that's all I know. Lol.