A passionate love story between two people of different backgrounds and temperaments, who are fatefully mismatched and yet condemned to each other. Set against the background of the Cold War in the 1950s in Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris, the film depicts an impossible love story in impossible times.
After seeing his performance in this film, Danny Boyle -- who was briefly attached to directing the 25th James Bond film -- wanted to cast Tomasz Kot as the villain. The Bond producers disagreed with his choice, wanting a more established name, so Boyle quit the project. See more »
When Wiktor crosses the border to West-Berlin in 1952, we can see on the horizon a high-rise with a rotating Mercedes-Benz star on the top. This is supposed to be the famous Europa-Center, but that was built in 1963 and only completed in 1965. It's probably poetic license to visually distinguish the capitalist West from the communist East. See more »
Did you visit the whores ?
I have no money for whores. I was with the woman of my life.
Wonderful. Then let me sleep.
[turns away from him]
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This superbly shot and acted black-and-white drama from Poland is a worthy film from Pawel Pawlikowski. It doesn't quite live up to his outstanding previous film "Ida," but it comes close. Like "Ida," this film runs a fleeting 90 minutes and is shot in black and white using simple (but gorgeous) cinematography. For a film of such short runtime, "Cold War" is deeply ambitious, and for the most part, the ambition pays off. It is set over a considerable period of time both inside and outside of the Iron Curtain, and centers on a love story between a man and his student who meet at a state-run music academy in communist Poland.
The film's use of a variety of filmmaking techniques to depict the history and culture of postwar Europe through using historical context is outstanding. The simple and very powerful music is beautiful, as is every key shot in black-and-white. The two leads both give excellent performances, mixing desire for purpose in life with an intense feeling of passion that is prevalent among ambitious individuals in the era. Some of these strengths in the movie are even combined together to excellent results, such as a chilling scene when young women from the state music academy sing songs pledging absolute loyalty to Stalin on stage in performance. The juxtaposition of the different scenes in the movie is also done very well, as each scene simply cuts to black before the next major scene (set in a different region or area of Europe) begins. The only real complaint I have about this film is that while I really appreciated the ending for the most part, the tone of the film's finale felt slightly anti-climactic. Otherwise, this is a gem. Gladly recommended. 8/10
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