Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski (1994, French, 99 mins)
Reviews: RottenTomatoes (100%), IMDB (8.1), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.
Watch online: Hulu, YouTube.
Similar movies: old age.
Beautiful movie. I first saw the movie around 2006 and loved it. In 2013, I watched it again, paid attention to the dialogues and loved it even more.
The story revolves around a retired judge and a young model. The judge views the world with apathy. He has little interest in anything around him. After repeated exposure to dregs of society, he is experienced and insightful.. but cynical and empty. In his twilight years, he spies on telephone conversations of people in his neighborhood, playing God sometimes. In contrast, Valentin is young, innocent and emotionally strong. She believes in goodness. She exudes empathy and affection through her actions. A chance event brings her in touch with the judge. Slowly, their friendship blossoms.
The storyline is somewhat mystical. It interweaves the past and the present. The judge predicts what will happen to Valentin and his predictions do start coming true.
Over the last seven years, I have heard tragic life stories of over a hundred individuals in first person. So I could understand the mindset of the cynical, retired judge. I have also met people like Valentin who bring joy to our lives through their innocence and positivity! The movie is worth watching for Valentin, who is absolutely charming. Very pretty too! She reminds me of birds, trees, fresh fruit, the laughter of little kids and tiny aeroplanes playing hide and seek in the skies :) I could replay the movie over and over to see Valentin ... just like hiking again and again, to be one with nature.
In a way, the movie is like Bhuvan Shome (1969, Mrinal Sen) in which a grump, 50-year old man (Utpal Dutt) comes in touch with a young woman in a village. Their friendship transforms the old man, making him livelier and warmer to people around him.