While I was watching White, I tried to pay more attention to the color symbolism, etc. than I did in Blue.  I do not really think this played a strong factor in my enjoyment of the film.  However, I did like White much better because it was a comedy (albeit a dark one at that). Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski) is having a really bad day.  He has a summons to appear at court, gets splattered by an errant pigeon on his way to the courtroom, and then his wife divorces him for failure to consummate the marriage.  Struggling through the proceedings with a translator because the Polish Karol does not speak strong French, shamed by his ex-wife (who says she doesn’t love him anymore because he couldn’t get it up after they were married) and denied his request for more time, Karol is – no pun intended – screwed.

His ex-wife Dominique (Julie Delpy) has the apartment, the salon they co-own, and the money he had in the bank.  Left only with a moderately-sized trunk of his belongings and completely unrequited love for his ex-wife, Karol starts sleeping in the subway and playing Polish folk tunes via a comb-turned-harmonica for coins.  Mikolaj, (Janusz Gajos) recognizes the tune and approaches Karol with an offer to take him back to Poland as well as a strange job proposition.

Eventually accepting both, Karol gets back to Poland through unusual means, then has another absurd turn of luck ending in his being beaten rather badly by thieves.  His fortune improves as he is able to stagger back to the family salon and begin to re-build his life.

Driven by his enduring love for the seemingly underserving Dominique (richly symbolized by objects he brought back from Paris), Karol builds a new life and fully embodies ‘revolutionary ideals’ as his bad fortune reverses itself in post-Communist Poland.

Karol is likeable (though pathetic at times) and the ending is weird, but at least there is continuous action.  According to Wikipedia, this is considered the weakest of the trilogy, but I thought it was pretty entertaining and still better than Blue.

If you:

  • Like dark comedies
  • Believe the following statement is true:  “Sometimes you’re the statue; sometimes you’re the pigeon”
  • Think revenge is a dish best served slightly ridiculous

Put it in the queue!

If you:

  • Prefer all your symbolism serious
  • Don’t like the old ‘fake your own death’ ploy
  • Are tired of watching movies where guys follow their exes around like lost sheep just begging for a mocking word or a kick to the emotional ribs

Don’t put it in the queue.  (And if you identify with the third reason, you should also probably take a break from watching movies starring Michael Cera.)

Written by Jennifer Venson