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Christian Moris Müller
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An epic saga of the Niechcic family, told from a woman's perspective. In 1914 in the war-torn Kaliniec, Barbara Niechcic remembers her youthful love, marriage hardships, family life in the countryside and finally her husband's death.
POP-cultural, genre-blending, rare, epic anti-war ride calling for an immediate humanistic reflection.
Jan Komasa's "Warsaw 44" is an audacious and impressive, genre-blending pop-cultural epic war or, as some might put it, anti-war motion picture that hits the nail on the head with unusual and daring vision from an unknown director from Poland.
The story is as simple as it gets. It's just before the summer of 1944 in occupied Warsaw, Poland. Nazi's are retreating slowly leaving the eastern front behind. The Second World War is coming to its end and clearly new order is about to be established. Poland, which had suffered numerous tragic blows of fate in its history, finally has a chance to prove its right for independence.
Stefan (fresh, unobvious and heavy on delicate retro 40's charm Jozef Pawlowski) is the only breadwinner after he lost his father at the beginning of the war. In order to make it and get by with his grief stricken mother and younger brother Jas Stefan unlike his peers is away from getting involved into polish resistance rebellion preparing for the uprising against German occupation. It takes an unfortunate event for Stefan to be forced to join the underground polish Home Army where he meets his old friends and a girl – Alicja (brilliant Zofia Wichlacz). Stefan keeps his new engagement secret from his troubled mother. And then one day surprisingly to everybody involved there comes an order to start the uprising, which is meant to last three days but eventually will lead to a bloody apocalypse.
From the beginning of the movie we experience a visual orgy of different genres mixed together dipped in a salsa gravy of brutal and bloody scenes provocatively shot in a very colorful and even at times fairy-like manner with a little bit of ironical kitsch unlike a typical war cinema has made us to expect. Komasa insanely puts young actors on an emotional roller coaster where things resemble a nightmarish Klimov's "Come and see" crossed with a Disney fairy tale juxtaposing a slo-mo of bullets circling around the kissing lovers with the downpour of blood and guts in one of the most gruesome scenes to be shown in cinema. The way of storytelling makes us follow the characters but surprisingly not because of their psychology, which seems as simple in construction as it gets concerning the fact that we watch people in the middle of unleashed hell where they can only escape or take cover occasionally shoot a bullet at an invisible German enemy. At first you would like to have characters which are more proactive but then - hey! It's war, not another Rambo movie. The characters are tools or goggles through which a viewer can experience the simulation of the world, which does not pretend to be Warsaw from 1944 either. It's more of a dreamy creation, a fantasy, phantom all coming from the director's mind bravely composed with uneasy feeling of disappointment, as if helmer writer wanted to express his doubt whether we would ever let it go and just live together not minding differences in this Babel world.
Whoever is seeking realism, regular narrative war movie and psychologically twisting drama would feel disappointment watching "Warsaw 44" since it's a rare, provocative, ambitious and original gem, a super budget experiment on one of the biggest and most horrifying events in XX century, a bloody opera staged before our damned eyes to show us the fire we lit up ourselves once in a while in the name of hatred and self-destruction.
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