17 July 2005 | the_crock
Dark doesn't mean ugly...
I am sure this is not the most depressing film ever made, I am sure that somewhere, some time, some one has made a more distressing and emotionally powerful look at humans in all there glory. I'm sure people have endeavoured to make a film that makes a city (in this case Warsaw) look bleaker and darker. And I'm sure that this isn't the most painful spiral downhill voyage any character has ever made on celluloid. I'm also sure that this movie is the darkest movie on every level I have ever seen.
The director uses dark filters at time to make this movie almost black, but all that is does is replicate the feel of the material. Which was essentially an anti capital punishment movie. We follow a young man's trip to the dark side, troubled by an unnamed past this movie is a lot like The Machinist or Requiem for A Dream, we can see this man faltering and we feel helpless. The movie is compelling the same way a car wreck is.
You shouldn't be able to watch a movie this black, from the start with a cat in a terrible position to the end with a human in a terrible position, this is only a film that could have been made in Europe. Humans are painted in a despicable way, but it's the city of Warsaw that looks like it's about to grab you at any moment.
This is a very visual way of telling a story, words are almost not necessary throughout the whole film, except a brilliant conversation between lawyer and client. And another brilliant thing about this movie is there is not a "the capital punishment law is wrong" speech by a lawyer to be seen, the movie tells you what it wants you to know without a lawyer ramming in down your throat.
Subtle is best. And in this case a picture does tell a thousand words.
This is a slow burning painfully beautiful look at killing, and if you can sit through its 80 minutes of bleakness, you may never forget its imagery.