A double is never merely a copy of an “original.” Like a sheet folded in half, the double connotes two parts created by the insertion of a break, which separates them while showing their interconnection. Something should stop us from saying that The Double Life of Veronique explores the question of identity – a question that is unfortunately emptied of its weight nonetheless – because what is at stake is not necessarily Weronika and Veronique’s sameness, but the forking that created two out of an unidentifiable one. Two tapestries are woven, or coiled, out of the same threat, with a minor but irreducible difference. This statement’s metaphysical value is heard, but it doesn’t contradict our previous assertion regarding Kieslowski’s embeddedness in the worldly. Ultimately, the guiding question in The Double Life of Veronique is fate, but the transcendent aspect of it is never severed from or placed above the mundane, where the latter is sacrificed at the former’s altar. The ordinary reveals its transcendence when caught in a reflection or a distortion when it is trapped momentarily like the scenery in a droplet of rain. The pleats of the world unfold, displaying its creases that otherwise remain unseen.
These are moments when that which cannot be shown shows itself, not through metaphor or symbol, but as the very nature of things. Kieslowski succeeds in the very rare attempt to deal with the metaphysical without the metaphoric.