Three Colors: Red (Trois couleurs: Rouge) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Three Colors: Red (Trois couleurs: Rouge) Reviews

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½ January 3, 2015
#248 - RED RED RED!!! complete red overload. Not sure how this is the best of the three and the 248th best film more to the point.
November 2, 2014
This is probably my favourite in the Three Colours trilogy. I love the theme music, which I have known for years, but was unaware of this film until this year. I loved the ending.
Super Reviewer
September 28, 2014
Good, but the weakest of the trilogy, with a convoluted ending.
September 14, 2014
There are few, if any, colours more visually striking than red, and so it is appropriate that 'Red' is the most memorably entry in Krzysztof Kieslowskis' acclaimed 'Three Colors' trilogy. From the innocence of Irene Jacob's Valentine and the cynicism of Jean-Louis Trintignant's judge, this film spans an array of human emotion and experiences, and is a fitting conclusion to the trilogy.
August 29, 2014
Probably my favourite of the three, Red delivers a captivating tale along with the emotion I desired. Close to 4 1/2 stars on this one. The ending is superb.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ August 16, 2014
And so, we reach the highly, highly, highly awaited (Please, let this be over, so I can get some sleep) conclusion to Krzysztof Kieślowski's "American Flag" trilogy... right? You'll have to forgive my being an ignorant American and not noticing the distinctions between the color patterns of the French and American flags. Well, one has to at least give it to me that I recognize the distinctions in the two country's forms of patriotism, because where American patriotism leads to the booze, baseball and football, French patriotism leads to something that is somehow less interesting to me, a movie buff. Well, this installment is more grounded than ever, but the point is that Kieślowski has finally completed this rather tedious showcase of his French patriotism... as a Pole, and just in time, because not two years after this film came out, he went the way of the French Revolutionaries who died to uphold the ideals that Kieślowski evidently subscribed to. If you want to keep up this talk of patriotism and make more reference to what the colors on the French flag represent, I suppose you could say that Kieślowski was given liberty... then equality, and then death, although the red on the French flag doesn't represent death. That should probably be stressed, because this film is likely the closest that annoyingly pretentious film school snobs are going to get to fraternity in college. Actually, I don't know how pretentious this film is, because, like I said, it's the most grounded of the "Three Colors" trilogy, and is decent because of it, although it's not completely above misguidance.

"Blue" was a prime example of what I like to refer to as "La Villa Strangiato", - in honor of the Rush instrumental which took the subtitle "An Exercise in Self-Indulgence" - in that it was one of art films which meditated upon just about nothing, and while "White" was a much a tighter and more grounded film, it was still misguided, and here, if there is overt lyricism to abstract storytelling, it's rare enough for you to not notice, which isn't to say that this film doesn't still have a tendency to drag its feet, with repetitious, if not aimless filler which squanders time that could have been dedicated more towards characterization. Immediate background development is lacking, and gradual exposition is adequate enough for you to get to know these characters just fine, but considering that this film is so much more grounded than its overtly naturalist predecessors, there's no excuse for its neglecting, if not the sudden abandonment of potentially intriguing conflicts and themes which stand away from the film's central focus, yet would add to the depth of a story that, quite frankly, needs more meat. Despite not quite having the scope of "White", this film's story concept certainly has a whole lot more depth to it than the overly intimate "Blue" and the lighthearted "White", but it's still a minimalist premise that establishes only so much bite and consequence, but plenty of conventions. Even though "Blue" and "White" had the audacity to be formulaic in its attempts at being artistically offbeat, one has to figure that this film, with its being more grounded than ever, is more formulaic than ever, and sure enough, the film is predictable, as surely as it is overlong, meandering along a familiar path at what at least feels like a glacial clip. I've rambled on and on about how this film is made much more interesting than its predecessors by its all but abandoning roots of abstract lyricism, but don't go in with the hopes that dryness is abandoned, because there's still something rather subdued about Krzysztof Kieślowski's direction, which relies on quietness, if not an ethereal atmosphere over all of meditations that, while not abstract, seriously bland things up, if not dull them down. I did find myself uncovering some not-so fond memories of boredom from the arguably tedious predecessors, and although I was generally engaged, potential, no matter limited, is lost in the wake of some misguided ambitions, if not laziness. The final product runs the risk of succumbing to the mediocrity its predecessors decidedly fell to, but it achieve decency, against all expectations, and gets there partly because it remains about as aesthetically solid as its predecessors.

At the very least, this series has stood as a testament to the brilliant musical abilities of Zbigniew Preisner, whose score for "Blue" was masterful in its genuine classicalism, and whose much less sweeping score for "White" was still charming and lovely in its lightness, and although this film is still awfully quiet, it's as celebratory of Preisner's gifts as any installment, ranging from a haunting sobriety to a captivating grandness that is rare in modern classical music, let alone modern film scoring. The musical style is certainly there, and when it comes to the visual style, well, it's not too much more explored by this mostly quiet affair, arguably being the least handsome of the three films, but decidedly being handsome by its own right, regardless, with Piotr Sobociński delivering on cinematography that was, for 1994, crisp in its emphasis on spare lighting in order to tastefully compliment the heart of this human drama's tone, if not certain colors, such as - you guessed it - red. Even the visual style seems to be eager to explore the depths of this film in an artistically subtle manner, and one can understand the ambition, that is, to a certain extent, for although this story is too intimate to carry all that much dynamicity or consequence, it's still a tasteful portrait on humanity and love, and it is done justice by a script by Krzysztof Kieślowski and Piesiewicz which, for all its excesses and thinness, is more focused in its exploration of worthy themes and worthy characters. It still stands to be juicier, but the characterization of this film still manages to draw rich and relatable roles who go brought to life by a cast that has little material, but plenty of charisma, whether it be the lovely Irène Jacob, or the subtly piercing Jean-Louis Trintignant. Really, outside of the grand aesthetic aspects, where the flaws of this film stand firm, the strengths are rather subtle, but they are plentiful, and in order to save the film, if not deliver on some resonance, they need to be well-orchestrated by a director who has had a history for getting carried away with subtleties. Well, sure enough, Kieślowski, as director, cannot completely justify his thoughtful approach to everything, for material to draw upon is limited, and yet, whether it be because he's more realized in his thoughtfulness, or simply because he has more material to work with, Kieślowski proves effective more often than not, whether that be aesthetically speaking, or dramatically speaking, with heights in dramatic realization that range from tasteful to near-powerful. The film is still far from rewarding, and is not even what it could have been as a minimalist drama, but it has its moments, and enough of them to engage much more than either of its predecessors, and therefore stand as a decent, if still somewhat questionable art drama.

In the end, the film drags its feet quite a bit to say only so much about its characters, and to have only so much meat to a story concept whose familiarity and blandly, if not dully subdued approach bring momentum to a crawl, but don't bring the final product to the mediocrity that claimed its predecessors, for there is enough magnificence to Zbigniew Preisner's score, handsomeness to Piotr Sobociński's cinematography, focus to Krzysztof Kieślowski's and Piesiewicz's script, grace to Irène Jacob's and Jean-Louis Trintignant's acting, and realized thoughtfulness to Kieślowski's direction to make "Three Colors: Red" an unsurprisingly improvable, yet surprisingly fair conclusion to Kieślowski's otherwise flat trilogy.

2.5/5 - Fair
August 13, 2014
Slow building but very interesting. This is totally a mature movie. With subtle character development and colors that really pop.
August 5, 2014
Aestethically beautiful, emotionally engaging, and thought-provoking. Red is the perfect culmination to the Kieslowski's ambitious trilogy, and it's a masterpiece on its own right.
July 28, 2014
The best part of "the trilogy three colors". So beautiful and amazing.
June 13, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

Red is the story about a young model who is roughly around her 20s, Valentine, who stumbles upon a man, Joseph Kern, is found out to be spying on his neighbours by listening to their telephone conversations.

Every time I think about or review a film from the Colors trilogy, I cannot help but compare each other rather than just judge the film on primarily its own. If I compare Red to the other films in the trilogy, I would have to say that the film is between White and Blue. I was expecting the film to match the intensity and weight of Blue but the film just couldn't reach it, and maybe this might due to Red's complication not centred on its protagonist, instead it's found on the mysterious man she encounters. This wouldn't be too much of an issue if the film didn't place all of its focus on Valentine and instead shared it between the two characters then it would give the audience an opportunity to gain a better understanding. Then again, I have only seen the film once and sometimes I tend to learn and develop my own unique take on characters during my subsequent returns.

From what I could take in during my watch, I felt that the film was trying to explore ideas of privacy and to an extent, fate. The conversations between the two lead characters revolve around the morality of surveillance, whether itâ??s for private or public use. Joseph Kern initially argues that his obsession of observing other people is due to his desire to understand people and to judge them accurately based on their life, as his old days of being as a judge, he felt that his judgement on the accused was not appropriate as he cannot fully assess the person's lifestyle and values in an unbiased way, a person will always project himself to others the way they expect him or her to be. But as the film progresses, we start seeing shades of the character and therefore our antagonistic view of the character starts to fade, and eventually feeling sympathetic for the man. His story was handled very well and at times it did become a bit emotional without feeling melodramatic or cliché. Valentine as well goes through some changes; we understand more of her than we ever thought we could.

The film kind of touches on the idea of fate, or at least something similar to it, saying that life repeats itself in a different form and that there is a connection between certain individuals in the world. The ending alone should establish that idea, but I wasn't able to fully grasp it, as I was too pre-occupied with understanding and connecting with the characters. There is a particular scene I want to bring up, and that is the scene in the theatre and both Valentine and Joseph are discussing about a topic that was avoided previously. This scene was amazing and so effective, there was so much that I felt and learned during that narrow amount of time, and it cleverly sets up for the ending that would want you to go back and rewatch the whole thing.

I am not going to go into the cinematography or the score on this one as I wasn't able to really give myself room to perform an analysis on these elements, but I can definitely say I was satisfied with the way it was handled and provided wonderful uses of the camera that wasn't present during the first two films.

The acting in this film was great, boasting impressive performances from both Irene Jacobs and Jean-Louis Trintignant. Their chemistry was strong but precisely handled by the director, making sure that their relationship is appropriate in emphasising the ideas and themes of the film and not falling off the track, ensuring it doesn't go cross the line of romantic and melodramatic. It does sadden for me to say that both actors are not as great when they are playing a scene alone, though this is not to say they are a disappointment or average even, but it was underwhelming.

Red was a wonderful conclusion to a wonderful trilogy. I recommend the three films to anyone as I guarantee that one would fall in love with at least one film in the series, Red had the potential to be a personal favourite, sadly it just couldn't hit me the same way Blue did.
June 13, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

Red is the story about a young model who is roughly around her 20s, Valentine, who stumbles upon a man, Joseph Kern, is found out to be spying on his neighbours by listening to their telephone conversations.

Every time I think about or review a film from the Colors trilogy, I cannot help but compare each other rather than just judge the film on primarily its own. If I compare Red to the other films in the trilogy, I would have to say that the film is between White and Blue. I was expecting the film to match the intensity and weight of Blue but the film just couldn't reach it, and maybe this might due to Red's complication not centred on its protagonist, instead it's found on the mysterious man she encounters. This wouldn't be too much of an issue if the film didn't place all of its focus on Valentine and instead shared it between the two characters then it would give the audience an opportunity to gain a better understanding. Then again, I have only seen the film once and sometimes I tend to learn and develop my own unique take on characters during my subsequent returns.

From what I could take in during my watch, I felt that the film was trying to explore ideas of privacy and to an extent, fate. The conversations between the two lead characters revolve around the morality of surveillance, whether it's for private or public use. Joseph Kern initially argues that his obsession of observing other people is due to his desire to understand people and to judge them accurately based on their life, as his old days of being as a judge, he felt that his judgement on the accused was not appropriate as he cannot fully assess the person's lifestyle and values in an unbiased way, a person will always project himself to others the way they expect him or her to be. But as the film progresses, we start seeing shades of the character and therefore our antagonistic view of the character starts to fade, and eventually feeling sympathetic for the man. His story was handled very well and at times it did become a bit emotional without feeling melodramatic or cliché. Valentine as well goes through some changes; we understand more of her than we ever thought we could.

The film kind of touches on the idea of fate, or at least something similar to it, saying that life repeats itself in a different form and that there is a connection between certain individuals in the world. The ending alone should establish that idea, but I wasn't able to fully grasp it, as I was too pre-occupied with understanding and connecting with the characters. There is a particular scene I want to bring up, and that is the scene in the theatre and both Valentine and Joseph are discussing about a topic that was avoided previously. This scene was amazing and so effective, there was so much that I felt and learned during that narrow amount of time, and it cleverly sets up for the ending that would want you to go back and rewatch the whole thing.

I am not going to go into the cinematography or the score on this one as I wasn't able to really give myself room to perform an analysis on these elements, but I can definitely say I was satisfied with the way it was handled and provided wonderful uses of the camera that wasn't present during the first two films.

The acting in this film was great, boasting impressive performances from both Irene Jacobs and Jean-Louis Trintignant. Their chemistry was strong but precisely handled by the director, making sure that their relationship is appropriate in emphasising the ideas and themes of the film and not falling off the track, ensuring it doesn't go cross the line of romantic and melodramatic. It does sadden for me to say that both actors are not as great when they are playing a scene alone, though this is not to say they are a disappointment or average even, but it was underwhelming.

Red was a wonderful conclusion to a wonderful trilogy. I recommend the three films to anyone as I guarantee that one would fall in love with at least one film in the series, Red had the potential to be a personal favourite, sadly it just couldn't hit me the same way Blue did.
May 31, 2014
A wonderful portrait of humanity, following the lines of "Blanc" and "Bleu". A very excellent tie-up of the trilogy, although I would definitely put Blue and Red on par as amazing works of art.

Perhaps people can change after all...given time
May 23, 2014
Awesome movie. Very symbolic, emotional, and compelling.
May 4, 2014
The best of the trilogy, Three Colours: Red is a deeply-written masterwork that succeeds in its approach as it is a fully-realised and compelling recreation of Kieslowski's message.
½ April 27, 2014
The ending was self serving, otherwise perfect.
DrStrangeblog
Super Reviewer
March 27, 2014
Meticulously nuanced, resulting in a nourishing film that means different things to different people. Pay close attention to the various sights and sounds and you will be rewarded as the elliptical nature of the screenplay unfolds. The story involves a model who hits a dog with her car and then meets its reclusive despondent owner, a retired judge who taps into his neighbors' telephone conversations for kicks. Eavesdropping, synchronicity, life imitating art, and echoes of the past all play transcendent roles as we follow their growing platonic relationship. Irene Jacob is superb as the model Valentine, while Jean-Louis Trintignant deftly evolves from crusty to sympathetic. Indelible final sequence that folds previous events together like origami.
½ March 26, 2014
The last segment puts an end to the trilogy.Kiewlowski gave his best to the the world of cinema with these 3 master pieces that are of rare brilliance .The theme of the movies,the colors used,the breath taking photography,strong performances,brilliant background score in itself contribute to a totally different school of thought that mesmerises the viewer and stays with them forever.Unforgettable.
February 19, 2014
Kieslowski's trilogy is so strong because it uncovers something truly profound, and that is what makes it so difficult to describe. This concluding installment finds the most devastating, transcendent moments out of all three films, and I'd say it's my personal favorite. Painted with distinct strokes, this film is clearly guided by the hand of an inspired artist. It is totally unpredictable, which is part of what makes it so absorbing. But it doesn't resort to cheap tricks to keep its audience engaged. This is a piece that relies on strong storytelling and performances. More than just a masterpiece, this movie is a fundamental classic of all time!
½ February 8, 2014
Definitely the best of the three, both accessible and somewhat touching at the end.
January 10, 2014
Stunningly beautiful, powerfully scored and immaculately performed, the film is virtually flawless, and one of the very greatest cinematic achievements of the last few decades. Undaunted by the tremendous emotional and moral valence he has by now invited us to expect, Kieslowski controls the film magnificently, putting to use the shapely formal precision he took an entire career to work out. A masterpiece.
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