This movie is a adaptation of a extraordinary book. Released in 2002 (author was 21 then) it divided polish book market. Some of them noticed the Blue Note, but some thought it was graphomania, botched story about pathetic people. I bet film will cause the same diversity of opinions. I didn't read the entire book, but from fragments I have seen I can say I probably would hate it, because of the language, which is so chaotic and disturbing.
But the film I liked. I liked a lot. Director dared to use new forms, which is not a common thing in polish cinema. Movie is very "bravado", it offers decent fight scenes and special effects. Someone compared the director to Quentin Tarantino. I'm sure this comparison is too big, but if those people can be in the same row, it's because of alterity. They both offer something new - in this case, something you cannot see in Polish cinema nowadays.
Another word for actors. Borys Szyc proved he's not a sissy. Good choice for leading role, he meets the great expectations. He's both hilarious (it has comedic parts, but it's definitely not a comedy movie, as some has labeled it) and disturbingly "not so stupid" in drama parts. Additional praise for Roma Gasiorowska.
I'd recommend Wojna polsko-ruska to anyone who wants to see something new, something different. Who's (even a little bit) tired of conventional movies. I believe people who dislike extreme mediums might find it very hard to follow (resulting in notes on film portals... sadly). But as far as you read single good review ("Both hilarious and engrossing, something very different and interesting") and compare it with negative reviews (most of them are like "It's stupid, i don't understand it. Give me Gladiator again"), you'll know what you're gonna deal with.
Great movie, but for open minded people. Polish "Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind"!
27 out of 51 found this helpful.
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Based on the bestselling controversial novel of the same name written by youth prodigy Dorota Masłowska this movie is based on a book that was supposedly unfilmable. At the helm another next generation artist Xawery Żuławski, who has the unenviable task of stepping into the shoes of Andrzej Żuławski. Opposite him in front of the camera is Borys Szyc, who plays the title character Silny (and for a brief scene himself) as well as some of the finest actors of the young generation. Together they delve into the story of a blockers (uneducated young inhabitant of decrepit apartment blocks) called Silny, his wacky love relationship with Magda, his cocaine and coca cola rushes as well as his unrealised dreams and aspirations. Or is it? Maybe its really about disassociation of culture, life and society from itself, which results in a collage of chaos? Or maybe it's about the pain of creation? Or maybe...
A lot of maybe's, but not necessarily a lot of interest in really making this philosophical enough for it to work. In the end it feels superficial and forced. Pretentious is a cliché ridden word, but it works more than anything to this movie. The story is just an excuse, while the wildly obscene, but surprisingly poetic language of the characters is there to add depth. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but most of the time you are fully aware of how fake the whole movie is. And you really don't need Dorota Masłowska on screen playing herself to notice that the movie is farcical and that the character of Silny is surreal and like taken from the pages of a comic-book. Taking breaking the fourth wall to a whole new level this movie doesn't however convey enough real depth to make you want to analyse it. It may work for some, but I myself was so disinterested with the movie, that I half-watched the last 30 minutes (which were terrible by the way and destroyed any positive credentials the movie had up until then).
In the absence of a real plot the message reeks of soggy self-importance. But than again how seriously can you treat a movie in which a guy talks to his dick? In the end we are left with the feeling that we were steamrolled over by a MTV video on speed.
If anyone does want to watch this movie I suggest doing it for the exceptional acting of Borys Szyc (plus some very good backup performances by Roma Gasiorowska and a few others). Plus the movie does have a few comedic moments that should make you giggle in a nice way... But than again so does 'Date Movie'...
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Once again I have found myself disappointed in Polish cinema. After reading many glowing reviews about this movie I thought that maybe the time has come for a decent Polish production, but unfortunately that was not the case.
But before I get to the bad stuff, let me give props to the movie's leading man- Borys Szyc. This guy is the only thing good about this movie. He's performance as "Silny" is great, when he needs to he is funny, and when the time for drama comes he is believable. Szyc has definitely proved, that he is not another talentless polish actor bound to play in soap operas. It's a shame that his talent is wasted on this movie, here he is like a diamond in an unflushed for centuries toilet.
So what is bad about this movie? About everything else! I haven't read the book myself, and frankly after this movie I certainly never will, but from what I've read, everything that is written in the book has been ripped from the pages and put on a screen. And here lies a big problem with this movie. Masłowska's style is rather chaotic, over-the-top, somewhat disturbing even. With that in mind the director/screen writer Xawery Żuławski could've cut the ridiculous parts and do a good movie, that shows the sadness of the typical Polish hoodlum in a realistic manner. But no, instead of that he just took all of the book's pages, ripped them off and put them on screen. Because of that the movie's style is incredibly uneven, one minute we have a dramatic scene, where Silny is contemplating about his sad life and the next we see a poorly choreographed fight, that ends with a drop kick 2 meters in the air. Some will call it artistic, ambitious, a cinematic equivalent of Sistine Chapel even, like the reviewer above, but nothing could've been further from the truth.
Also bad are all the other actors in the movie. Szyc could've just stood there and read cue cards and he still would outshine very other cast member. Maria Strzelecka, who plays Angela, is the prefect example of what would happen if Keanu Reeves and Paris Hilton hooked up. For the entire duration of the movie she's standing still and says her lines like she's lost the part of her soul that makes her human. R2D2 from Star Wars is Orson Welles compared to her. Other actors and actresses in this movie are also not exactly qualified to labels themselves as such. Thought they are not as bad as Strzelecka, they reach new lows in their respective categories. Every single one of them based their character's mannerisms on a bad Looney Tunes cartoon, the result is that every single character is too over-the-top even for David Caruso's standards. Not to mention the atrocious cameo by the books author- Dorota Masłowskwa- near the movie's ending. Her "acting" is one of the worst ever caught on tape, but since she is not even an actress it's understandable. But in that case, why is she even in the movie?
In the end "Polish-Russian War" is a bad movie. It tries too hard to imitate a good, ambitious movie, but fails miserably doing so, because the source material is not exactly fitted for such. The result can only appeal to snobbish, pretentious folks, who will think that they are smarter than every one else because they understood this movie. So if you are that kind of person, than watch this movie, like it and form some elitist cult afterwords with the guy who wrote the other review. Together you shall pass on the message of this movie's greatness and ban Gladiator from cinemas and TV screens everywhere.
11 out of 29 found this helpful.
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