In the early 1810s, Poles, part of Russia's client state of Lithuania, think independence will come if they join forces with Napoleon when he invades Russia. This unity of purpose, in one ... See full summary »
In 1668 Polish colonel Michael Wolodyjowski, who recently retired to a monastery, is recalled to active duty and takes charge of Poland's eastern frontier defenses against invading Tatar hordes and Ottoman armies.
In the 15th century the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is facing a hard struggle against the neighboring Teutonic Order.Frequent clashes between the two powers finally culminate in 1410 with the Battle of Grunwald.
During the 1655 war between Protestant Sweden and Catholic Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth some Polish-Lithuanian nobles side with Swedish king Charles X Gustav while others side with the Polish king Jan Kazimierz.
At the turn of the century, Lodz, Poland was a quick-paced manufacturing center for textiles, replete with cutthroat industrialists and unsafe working conditions. Three young friends, a ... See full summary »
The main characters are the same two quarreling pesant families introduced in "Sami swoi" (Our Folks). The action of the film starts 18 years later. The old quarrels have been forgotten, ... See full summary »
In the early 1810s, Poles, part of Russia's client state of Lithuania, think independence will come if they join forces with Napoleon when he invades Russia. This unity of purpose, in one district, is undermined by two families, feuding since the head of one shot the head of the other twenty years before. There are hopes of a reconciliation through a marriage of Pan Tadeusz, a Soplica, whose father, the murderer, is in hiding somewhere, and Zosia, a teen-aged girl, a Horeszko who lives in the household of Pan's uncle. Other cross-currents - of love, family, politics, village traditions, land reform, and what it means to be Polish - give the film texture. It's an exile's story. Written by
That's very true: this film's redeeming quality (if any) are the dialogues, and also narrator's voice-overs, which have been taken verbatim from "Pan Tadeusz", the Polish 19th century verse epic by Adam Mickiewicz. Mickiewicz was an excellent poet (one of the strongest in Polish language, and of decent standing in European literature of 19th century), and "Pan Tadeusz", written in 1834, is one of his peak works. The text, written in syllabotonic rhymed verse, is at time funny, at times touching, but always flowing and vibrant. The epic tells a story from the lives of Polish lesser gentry in eastern part of the former Commonwealth of Poland (these parts are now in Lithuania or Byelarus) in the times of Napoleon's conquests. The plot includes a little bit of love story, a little bit of war (skirmishes, really), mystery, intrigue, resistance against Poland's occupiers, scenes of everyday life - all with a good measure of nostalgia thrown in, as it was written by Mickiewicz as emigree in Paris, with the patriotic goal to cheer up (literally, in Polish, "to strengthen the hearts") of other emigrees and of Poles in the partitioned and non-existing Poland, at the time shortly after yet another unsuccessful uprising against the Russian Empire.
"Pan Tadeusz", the movie, is a costume drama directed by Andrzej Wajda, the Polish director with some notable previous work under his belt. Into this film he brings mainly his experience and routine as filmmaker. The acting, with few exceptions, fails to impress, the actors simply mill around and recite the splendid lines by Mickiewicz. The camera-work is passable, with some nice shots of the beautiful locations. Also scenography and costumes are decent. What stands out is the music by the renowned Wojciech Kilar. But then again, it is standing out against the backdrop of a, frankly, not very exciting movie.
All in all: the most interesting feature of this film is unfortunately lost in translation from rhymed verse in 19th century Polish.
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