Dir: Jan Jakub Kolski. Poland. 2012. 99mins
Dubbed by some as the “..master of magic realism in Polish cinema,” director Jan Jakub Kolski has taken a sterner and more austere approach to cinema with his latest film, that received its International Premiere in the Official Competition at Karlovy Vary. However, there’s still a touch of the fantastical in his work.
Lubos and Pawelkiewicz make a believable couple even if the nature of their relationship dips into the territory of the disturbing.
Eryk (Eryk Lubos) is a paranoid former soldier who is holed up in a remote house planning a mysterious job. While awaiting instructions from his employers, he whiles away the time engaging in target practice and attempting to kill the local beavers that are disturbing his peace.
Enter an abused teenage girl Bezi (Agnieszka Pawelkiewicz) who takes a shine to Eryk and the two soon became engaged in a torrid sexual affair. But as Eryk has flashbacks to incidents in his past it becomes clear that all is not what it seems.
After the success of his previous film Venice on the festival circuit, Kolski’s film may take some by surprise. It’s an intense blend of psychosexual drama and conspiracy thriller that – while the narrative is sometimes in danger of falling off into the wildly implausible – is directed with gusto as Kolski creates a sense of tangible claustrophobia and rising panic as Eryk’s state of mind gradually falls apart.
There’s also some astonishing acting as Lubos and Pawelkiewicz make a believable couple even if the nature of their relationship dips into the territory of the disturbing.
It should attract intrigued crowds on the festival circuit and – given its slight parallels with Luc Besson’s Leon – there’ll be more than a few international distributors tempted to give this twisted but compelling film a try.
Production company/contact: Tramway Film Studio, www.tramway.pl
Screenplay: Jan Jakub Kolski
Producer: Wieslaw Lysakowski
Cinematography: Michal Pakulski
Editor: Piotr Kolski
Main cast: Eryk Lubos, Agnieszka Pawelkiewicz