Three Colors: White (1994)

three colors white poster 1994 movie julie delpy
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Still a solid movie

Least inspired of the Three Colors

Movie Info

Movie Name: Three Colors:  White

Studio: MK2 Productions

Genre(s): Drama/Comedy/Romance

Release Date(s):  January 26, 1994 (France)/June 10, 1994 (US)

MPAA Rating: R

three colors white suitcase zbigniew zamachowski

Somedays, you live out of your suitcase

Polish hairstylist Karol Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski) is being divorced by his French wife and partner Dominique Vidal (Julie Delpy).  Left with no money in a foreign country with no passport, Karol meets a man named Mikolaj (Janusz Gajos) who helps Karol get back to Poland and back on his feet.  With dreams of Dominique in his mind, Karol sets out on a mission and discovers that when there’s a will, there’s a way.

Written and directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski, Three Colors:  White (Blanc or also Trois Couleurs:  Blanc) is the second part of a trilogy of films.  Following Three Colors:  Blue in 1993, the movie takes its title from the colors of the French flag and the French Revolution theme of equality.  The movie was released to positive reviews, and the Criterion Collection released a remastered version of the film (Criterion #589) as part of the Three Colors Trilogy boxset (Criterion #587).

three colors white zbigniew zamachowski janusz gajos shooting

You have to kill your friends sometimes

The Three Colors Trilogy was a big deal as the small independent and foreign film world was beginning to pick up in the 1990s.  I never got to see any of the three films in the theater, but in college, I saw only White which is widely considered (and is) the weakest of the three films.  Despite being the weakest of the movies, the film is still strong.

The story is a much different tone than the other two films.  There is a lot of humor in the story and it is somewhat Shakespearian humor at that.  Wronged, you see Karol moving up in the world rapidly and kind of assume that he’s doing it to win Dominique back.  Instead, he does to her what she did to him.  She’s stranded in a foreign country with nothing and now in love with him.  It is pretty twisted.

The script’s less hardy material means acting which isn’t up to the par with Blue or Red.  The Zbigniew Zamachowski is better as the bumbling lovesick character than the business character so it is harder to believe him as slick and skilled.  Julie Delpy isn’t in the film enough to really get to develop her character past the being selfish and cold.  I like Janusz Gajos as the depressed friend who helps Karol, but much of the other characters in the film feel more like stock characters than the rounded and fleshed out characters of the other entries in the trilogy.

three colors white julie delpy zbigniew zamchowski

Sweet revenge

Since the theme is “white” the colors of the movie are the most standard of the three movies.  The picture is lightened in places, but the general view of the film looks pretty standard.  It is still shot and edited well, but it lacks the extra stylized look that the other films have to tie in with their themes.

Despite criticism, Three Colors:  White is still a good movie and if you are watching one of the Three Colors movies, you should just watch them all.  With White being the middle film, it kind of feels like the soft, squishy center of an Oreo.  For me, I like the cream filling, but really need the cookie crush to enjoy it.  Three Colors:  White was followed by Three Colors:  Red also in 1994.

Related Links:

Three Colors:  Blue (1993)

Three Colors:  Red (1994)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response