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The First Polish 3D Feature Film! Poland's winning battle against Soviet Russia as seen through the eyes of two young protagonists, Ola and Jan. She is a Warsaw cabaret dancer, while he is a cavalry officer and poet who believes in socialist ideals. Written by
How come, every time I wait for a good polish movie about some episode from Poland's history, I end up being seriously disappointed? Every time. With this movie being notable confirmation of this rule.
Battle of Warsaw. One of the most important events in Europe's or maybe even world's history. A tragic struggle, held on the very extremes of hope, justly called by some "Miracle at the Vistula", won by a thread against all odds. One would think such event would deserve an epic piece of cinematographic art. I thought so too. A movie was made at last. Why I'm not happy? First thing I despise is the lack of focus. Not the optical one I despise the lack of focus of the story itself. It seems like creators of the picture wanted to show all of the battle breadth and depth, on every possible level: human, psychological, social, national, strategic and tactical. Guess what? It didn't work. It couldn't work. If one wants to emphasize everything, one emphasize nothing. If one wants to show everything at once, one shows nothing. All the potential of this movie was dissolved in different side-plots and micro-episodes, in the end loosing its proper load. This thin solution is spiced up with some cliché, overdone pathos and stupid, contemporary jokes. Humor in the movie lacks the feeling of a "safety valve" for troubled mind. It lacks a hint of underlying sadness, so specific for polish sense of humor in trying times. Generally it's just artificial and thoughtless.
Now a little bit about the story itself (don't worry no spoilers here). To me storyline holds striking resemblance to a bulleted list. Such lists are quite popular in polish schools as a means of putting down most important motives in analyzed literature works. They're also common in cheat-sheets. So it is in the case of this movie. Love motif? Checked! Social view? Checked! Great battle? Check! Enemy's view? Checked! The list goes on. A series of unconnected fragments. The problem is the movie is contiguous as a story telling mean. Good movies are able to glue seamlessly all bits and pieces of single scenes into one logical, contiguous tale. "Bitwa..." in many places changes topics without warning and reason leaving many things inelegantly untold.
Next thing: photography. Sławomir Idziak is mentioned as director of photography. I say: no way! Take "Gattaca" or "Black Hawk Down". There is no way the same man was responsible for shooting them. There are some (technically) nice takes but they're mostly just copies of "BHD" style of filming. I liked them but yet hoped for something specific to this movie, something more innovative, not just another visual "same ol' thing". And about 3D... More and more often I think of 3D as a hype helper in the way: "We can't make it worthy let's at least make it 3D". I don't oppose new techniques they're interesting and have indifferently a potential but I oppose using new techniques whether it makes sense or not. In this case I'm not impressed, sorry...
And where does it leave me? I'm still waiting... hoping... and pray my wait is not in vain. In the meantime: 3 stars out of pity :(
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