Three Colours Red (Part 3 of the Three Colours Trilogy) – The DVDfever Review

three colours red

Three Colours Red is the third and final part of the Three Colours Trilogy, the film series from director Krzysztof Kieslowski which is themed, retrospectively, on the French Revolutionary ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity.

Kieslowski is the man behind other classics which I was introduced toaround the time I started at Keele University in 1990, namely 1988’s A Short Film About Killing and A Short Film About Love, both part of Dekalog: The Ten Commandments, and also The Double Life of Veronique, an absolute work of art, featuring the stunning Irene Jacob who also stars in the final part in the trilogy I’m reviewing here, which was also Kieslowski’s final film as he sadly died at the age of 54 from a cardiac arrest. The only blessing was that he was still in his home city of Warsaw, Poland.

Irene Jacob plays Valentine, a model, who also has a boyfriend, Auguste, back in England who’s being a bit of a dick. While out and about one evening, she accidentally runs over a German Shepherd and so drives her back to the owner’s address, a retired judge played by Jean-Louis Trintigant, a man who’s as grumpy as hell and no longer wants the dog, even when she runs off back home.

This man has a bizarre hobby which involves listening to his neighbours’ phone calls and finding a way to intervene in their relationships, something which repulses Valentine.

Being about fraternity, and bringing together people who wouldn’t normally meet and seeing if they can find common ground, there’s more to Three Colours Red beneath the surface than may first appear, but despite not being much longer than ‘Blue‘ or ‘White‘, it does feel like a long haul to get through, mainly because it’s made up of long, ponderous scenes that take their time getting anywhere. Still, apart from the reason of completing the trilogy, it’s certainly worth watching for the performances from the stunning Jacob and the superb Trintignant. It’s just a shame this was the director’s final work.

As with the previous films in the series, there is a themed colour here and it’s red, such as the red cars frequently driven, red traffic lights taking centre stage on occasion, and also the red background while Valentine is doing a photo shoot.


The film is presented in the original 1.85:1 theatrical ratio and in 1080p high definition, and looks pin-sharp perfect, often being draped in a stunning blue colour, as you’d expect, and looking wonderful as a result.

Soundwise, this disc contains a DTS 5.0 soundtrack, so there’s no subwoofer effects in it, but in reality, it doesn’t sound any different than a regular stereo film as there’s absolutely nothing going on in the rear speakers.

The extras are small in number, and are all presented in letterboxed 16:9, which is odd in the age of Blu-ray, but I guess they’re old extras:

  • Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Masterclass (1994) (8:39): By now you know what to expect. This time, Kieslowski looks at the scene when Valentine follows the dog into the church and what ensues for a few scenes.

  • Interviews: with Irene Jacob (18:55), where she starts off by revealing the origin of her character’s name, Valentine, and there’s also chat from editor Jacques Witta (15:10) and producer Marin Karmitz (10:42).

  • The Making Of (23:23): On-set footage, like ‘White’, but without Kieslowski commenting as they go.

  • Kieslowski, Cannes 1994 (15:09): Chat from Kieslowski, Trintignant and, occasionally, Jacob, while at the Cannes Film Festival in 1994.

  • Trailers (1:46, 1:33, 1:29): One for each of the three films. So few releases seem to give the trailers for the actual film on the disc these days, for no apparent reason, so I’m very pleased to see these here.

The menu features a small section of the incidental music over and over, there are English subtitles available as optional, which is good for French viewers who don’t require them. Oddly, while Blue had 36 chapters, White only had 24. Now, Red goes for 28 over its 99-minute running time. Why does this figure keep changing? Okay, in all cases it’s still more than most distributors give us, but what was wrong with 36?



Detailed specs:

Running time: 99 minutes
Year: 1994
Date of release: December 9th 2013
Distributor: Artificial Eye
Chapters: 28
Cat no: ART096BD
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS 5.0 DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS 2.0 (Dolby Stereo)
Languages: French
Subtitles: English
Widescreen: 1.85:1
Disc Format: BD50

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Producer: Marin Karmitz
Screenplay: Krzysztof Kieslowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz
Music: Zbigniew Preisner

Valentine: Irene Jacob
The Judge: Jean-Louis Trintignant
Karin: Frederique Feder
Auguste: Jean-Pierre Lorit
The photographer: Samuel Lebihan
Vet: Marion Stalens


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