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19-year-old Tomek whiles away his lonely life by spying on his opposite neighbour Magda through binoculars. She's an artist in her mid-thirties, and appears to have everything - not least a constant stream of men at her beck and call. But when the two finally meet, they discover that they have a lot more in common than appeared at first sight... Written by
Michael Brooke <email@example.com>
"A Short Film About Love" is a psychological and unconventional love story that urges the viewer to really feel something from the very beginning until the wonderful ending. It's difficult to be impassive, to not feel anything about the story of a lonely young man who fell in love with a distant neighbor and whom he peeps at with stolen binoculars.
The story is told through the lens of the binoculars from where 19-year-old Tomek (Olaf Lubaszenko), a shy Post Office worker who spies his opposite neighbor Magda (Grazyna Szapolowska), a very promiscuous woman. In a Hollywood story many people would have thought that he wants to have sex with her and that he's a perverted. But, his actions are quite different and he'll always try to find a way to be near her and the way he does this approaches are quite odd, disturbing Magda's peace by sending false notices or calling the gas company when she's with another guy at her home.
He practically knows everything about her and this obsession gives him a return from the woman who thinks she can play with him just like she does with other guys but things can and will follow through some desperate and sad ways.
Writer and Director Krzysztof Kieslowski (who wrote the screenplay along with his collaborator Krzysztof Piesiewicz) tells us a story about a dry and tedious world who tends to suffocate and destroy the notion of love (Magda says to Tomek that she doesn't believe in love), and feelings are thrown to the wind by mere acts, and the best thing someone can do is just sit and watch things happen just like Tomek does being an observer because to be part of them it might not be so interesting in the way you thought it could be. Themes of loneliness, pain, emptiness, the lack of communication are intertwined in a very peculiar and interesting way.
But it's not just sad things, there's hope and some funny things too. Perhaps the most positive of the characters is the old lady who lives with Tomek, the grandmother of his only friend, and she likes the boy very much and wants him to be settled with someone, she's the one who really cares about him. She's the most communicative figure in the film and every time she says good things to him about how a girl likes to be treated and other things.
In a world where it's more easy to shout and complain about everything than to say "I Love You!" Tomek finds his way; he's a bold character with a awkward way to express what he considers to be love. I really prefer his ideal of what love is than to the concept presented in "Atonement" for instance (great film though).
It is a realistic story but at the same time it's not. If the director presents a real world with real situations in one hand, on the other he gave us a romantic and cinematic notion of some very fantastic and beautiful things (in real life many people would've call the police if they met a obsessive stalker. Instead of that we see a curious woman who wants to know more about this guy). This contradiction works and life itself has many of them.
Kieslowski once again made a wonderful movie, very calm, his camera allows you to see all the details, tiny little things that makes a tremendous effect on the story and in the viewer. The slow pace is precisely great to show Tomek's perspective looking inside of Magda's apartment, all this presented brilliantly. Kieslowski could tell the whole movie just by showing those images that I would love the film anyway. His direction of actors are very efficient too. To me, Olaf Lubaszenko will always be remembered by his portrayal of Tomek, wonderful job, he really felt the character, made him very believable and it's very difficult to resist to his charming puppy eyes. Grazyna Szapolowska is spectacular as well, she dominates the second half of the film in a astonishing way when her character realizes what Tomek really felt about her.
Art in its best form, "A Short Film About Love" is highly recommended to everyone who enjoys great cinema and philosophical stories. This movie really is gonna make you to have a opinion about it, it will prevail in your memory. 10/10
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