'Jasminum' is a sweet and beautiful film about love, caring, smell, acceptance hang on, it's not a romantic film. It's certainly not one of those conventional boy meets girls films. There are flying ducklings, sweating ghosts, and slices of bread that are either too thin or two thick. A fellow user has compared it to 'Chocolat' but 'Jasminum' is a lot more ambiguous and a far better film. The film is about acting upon ones loving feelings toward another person. In 'Jasminum' we are presented with three love stories. That of Patrizia and the Comedian, that of Jasminum and that of Natasza. All the broken love stories are treated with some humour without ruining the essence. We also see a love that builds between two unusual friends like that between the little Genia and Brother Sanitas and this two becomes a somewhat sad love story when Genia has to leave. Kolski's direction stands out as one can see how much heart he's put in the film-making process The cinematography takes us through the spectacular Polish landscape. The background score provides pleasant company and the set designs and special effects are very impressive. The child's voice-over gives it a fairytale feel and adds to the humour (e.g. during the sex scene, we here the child's voice saying 'I am not allowed to say what happened ) and it also appropriately narrates the story from a very objective point of view. The monastery itself provides an open atmosphere that reflects the loneliness of the characters.
Kolski also cleverly introduces (in a magical way) the idea of one of the five human senses: smell. In 'Jasminum' we are reminded of how important the sense of smell is and what significant role it has in the interaction of two people. Here in 'Jasminum' it the 'right smell' is the answer to the mystery. The character Natasza uses creates these magical smell through her perfume and uses them to heal the broken love stories. Note the love is there.
However, I thought Kolski could have shown more development between Patrizia and her actor lover. It looks as though the relationship was based on sex. Even though I do think that Kolski was merely trying to show something otherwise, a different attitude towards love, it remains for the viewer to assume and makes the film a little weak.
The performances, particularly by Blecka-Kolska, Gasiewska and Zdrówko are standouts. Blecka-Kolska's subtle expressions are noteworthy and Zdròwko's portrayal of the slow transition that takes place in Sanitas is sublime. It is Sanitas who values his relationship with all the small things (e.g. Genia and the little duckling). Gasiewska is absolutely cute (without trying to be so) and she brings out the innocence with Genia through her chemistry with Zdrówko.
In a few words, 'Jasminum' is sweet charming aromatic gem that is both a visual treat and a very pleasant viewing experience.
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