18 February 2017 | TheLittleSongbird
The feature film debut of Krzysztof Kieslowski
Kieslowski did go on to better things later, especially in his later and more internationally renowned period starting with 'Dekalog' all the way through to 'Three Colours: Red'. 'The Scar' however is a highly impressive feature film debut.
Like as was said for 'The Calm' (a relatively obscure work and undeservedly so), 'The Scar' doesn't have an awful lot wrong with it, it's the sort of film that does almost everything correctly and with very good skill but it's also a case of Kieslowski's style and all his components (while present and correct here) became more refined later on. 'The Calm' does lack the intensity and emotional resonance of his later work, especially with the best 'Dekalog' stories, 'The Double Life of Veronique' and 'Three Colors: Red' and 'Blue'.
Maybe it does get a touch heavy-handed in places too (then again that was not unexpected with themes as heavy and controversial as hypocrisy, compromise and contradiction) and occasionally a touch jumpy.
Again, however, as was said for 'The Calm', these nit-picks are not massive and much of 'The Scar' works very well. It is a good-looking film, as well as being beautifully shot with atmospheric use of colour to match the mood, it is gritty yet beautiful with many thoughtful and emotionally powerful images lingering long into the memory. Kieslowski's direction is quietly unobtrusive, intelligently paced and never too heavy. Very intriguing use of sound and silence, music is sparsely used but effectively intricate.
It's a thought-provoking film too, rarely rambling and makes what it has to say stick. Much of the story is sensitively told and poignant (if not as much as Kieslowski's later work), hardly cold. While deliberately paced it intrigues, engaging a good deal while also suitably challenging the viewer in spots. The themes are explored well, though there are thematically richer films from Kieslowski, and the characters (portrayed fairly bleakly but realistically) carry the story well. As ever, the complexity and nuances of the acting is to be admired.
Overall, interesting and very good early Kieslowski, though he did go on to better things later. 8/10 Bethany Cox