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Three Colours: Red (4K reissue)


Stars: Irene Jacob, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jean-Pierre Lorit, Frederique Feder

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski

The third and best of Kieslowski's masterful trilogy (after 'Blue' and 'White'), this is similar in structure to Claude Lelouch's romantic films about Un homme finally meeting Une femme, after just missing each other throughout the story, but vastly superior in the writing and in the central theme.

Swiss model Valentine (Jacob), whose current boyfriend seems like a bad investment, runs over a dog belonging to a retired judge (Trintignant), who appears scarcely to care whether the animal lives or dies.

Drawn to his house when the animal survives and flees back to its owner, Valentine begins to uncover some strange facts about her elderly and reclusive acquaintance, who whiles away his time listening to his neighbours' telephone calls.

Gradually, the wheels of the plot begin to grind towards a pre-ordained fate, but we never have the sense of being manipulated.

Jacob and Trintignant give two exceptional, amazingly focused performances: she is gravely, glowingly sincere and wholly sympathetic (but never dull); while his embittered old man is one of the best things the actor, who died last year, has ever done.

And the scene where Valentine rescues the dog after running it over, is astoundingly well realised, with the dog a real scene-stealer.

All in all, it's flawless filmmaking of a very high order. Seek it out if you can.

David Quinlan

Poland/France/Switzerland 1993. UK Distributor: Curzon. Eastman Colour.
99 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 11 Apr 2023