The peaceful world of a monastery, in a small town Jasmine, is destroyed by the arrival of monument restorers, Natasha, along with her daughter Eugenia. The legend associated with the ...
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The old man Johnnie lives a peaceful but eccentric rural life with his young wife Veronica. Shortly after conceiving the child they have longed for, Johnnie discovers that he possesses ... See full summary »
Jan Jakub Kolski
A story about women, set in the present and in 1950s Warsaw. The main character is Sabina, a quiet, shy woman who has just turned thirty. Clearly, she lacks a man in her life. Her mother ... See full summary »
Son's painful memories of his father's lifelong alcohol addiction turn to be traumatic for both of them. These memories make them realise the booze inheritance in their family. Will they get out of this vicious circle?
The peaceful world of a monastery, in a small town Jasmine, is destroyed by the arrival of monument restorers, Natasha, along with her daughter Eugenia. The legend associated with the monastery bode revelation in him a saint in the near future. Despite initial reluctance, Natasha starts the maintenance of the image stored there. The secrets of the monastery are unraveled: the unhappy lovers bodies placed in the catacombs, the secret elixir of love, created with the smell of the monks. Written by
Jasminum is a sweet, aromatic fairytale about love
The film is about love: primarily about love or love relationship between a man and a woman. The viewer is gradually introduced first to Patricia's unrequited love to the movie star, and as the story unfolds, also to Jasmina's tragic love story with one of the monks, and finally the unhappy love story of Natasza, the main character. And the movie is about love in a more general sense, or similar feelings between human beings: exemplified in the unusual friendship between the little girl Genia and Brat Zdrówko (Brother Sanitas), or Natasza's friendship with Patricia.
Although the topic seems rather trite, "Jasminum" does a good job making it interesting by presenting it in the form of a fairytale for adults. The voice-over narration by a child and the waltz music mainly played by piano set the fairytale atmosphere. Jan Jakub Kolski, the director, obviously has a penchant for light, melodious but slightly sad waltz, as he made use of such music in his previous work "Pornografia (2003)." The difference is that in Pornografia the music is partially diegetic, while in "Jasminum" it is completely non-diegetic.
This is because in "Pornografia" the music directly relates to the main character's tragic past. In "Jasminum," on the other hand, the waltz mostly accompanies the young narrator's voice-over, helping to set the atmosphere: tragicomic, sad and comforting at the same time. When doing so, the music also functions as a separator between stages of the plot development, or a symbolic "curtain" between "acts" of the film.
As in "Pornografia," tragic love story and secrets from the past are important in Jasminum. The monastery itself holds a tragic love story from the past, and its spell still persists. The spatial setting of a monastery is quite adequate in this context because by definition the setting must separate men and women. Natasza, the altar-painting restorer and perfume maker on the side, turns out to have her own unhappy love story, no matter how absurd: a runaway bridegroom. Patricia, the hairdresser whom Natasza helps, has perhaps the most banal kind of sad love story: unrequited love towards a famous actor. The film, however, treats all of these love stories equally with "a sense of humor and attentiveness" as the director emphasizes in one of the interviews.
The precocious narrator Genia is the only person who does not have a tragic love story hidden in the past for obvious reasons. Therefore her narration of the story is fairly objective, with her adorable dryness adding to the humorous aspect. In the end, however, Genia experiences her own version of a sad love story when she must leave Brat Zdrówko.
The key to solving all the mysteries of love lies in finding the right aroma. The film is all about magical smell. This extraordinary idea also adds to the fairytale aspect of the film. The important fact is that Natasza's magic perfume works as a love potion only because the love is already there. She merely gives a little boost by caring and acting upon her sympathy. This leads to the final topic of the film: "saintliness," as the director comments.
The film's message is that the most important thing between people is love and caring, and acting upon one's caring for another person. When the caring and acting reaches a certain level, it qualifies to be saintliness. The final scene, when Brat Zdrówko becomes a saint, confirms this idea. As the viewers saw in the film, Brat Zdrówko is the one who cares the most, even about the piglets; he is the one who acts the most to take care of the entire monastery, silently and inconspicuously. This final message is conveyed again with "a sense of humor and tender attentiveness" as Zdrówko complains he cannot light the stoves with the stigmata his hands.
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