“White” stars Zbigniew Zamachowski as Polish immigrant Karol Karol, a man left with nothing but a two-franc coin when his French wife (Julie Delpy) divorces him for failing to consummate their marriage. Returning to Warsaw, he gets mixed up in underworld schemes and eventually a newfound, even dangerous, ambition. At moments, particularly a denouement that’s a wicked reversal of the opening scene, “White” works as a heartfelt black comedy about romance gone awry. But therein lies the rub of a trilogy — while “White” can fly solo, it also seems at odds with the tone and atmosphere of the other two films. Whether this matters to you or not depends on your temperament, but I found it distracting. Cognizant of the dissonance, I set to searching for through lines, and my reverie snapped to an end.
No such complaint need be made about “Red”: at its core is an electric and unexpected chance meeting, between a young model (Irene Jacob) and an aging, somewhat imperious judge (Jean-Louis Trintignant) who eavesdrops on his neighbors. Plot summary wouldn’t do the film justice — nothing much happens narratively until the film’s final moments, which tie all of the trilogy’s protagonists together through a twist of fate. But Kieslowski gets at something elusive about intimacy, about how suddenly it can develop and just as quickly disintegrate — intimacy, in “Red,” is itself a twist of fate. But if that’s all we have to hold on to, the ending suggests, if that’s what we need to survive, then so be it.