It doesn’t happen often in Germany but there are more and more special screenings of polish movies. One of them was just recently, last Sunday. The movie was called Ciemno, prawie noc (engl. Dark, almost night) and is based on a book by Joanna Bator with the same title.
Where shall I start? Firstly, don’t get scared: Poland doesn’t always look so terrible how it was showed in this film. The story takes place in Wałbrzych (yeah I know, we’re great in creating polish names!) – a city situated in southwestern Poland. I feel that they did a great effort in finding the ugliest streets and places, as well as the darkest part of the forest for the shooting locations. Sure it gives the movie it’s fairy-tale dark flair but I’m abroad for too long to know, that it only confirms the stereotype about Poland which some people still have about it. Secondly, acting. The main character, Alicja Tabor played by Magdalena Cielecka, works as a reporter and goes back to her hometown in order to collect information about the kidnapped children for her new story. Dont’ get scared about Cielecka’s acting and her lack of showing any emotions as the expression of her face doesn’t change at all through the whole movie.
Let me continue with some other disadvantages. There are many unexplained things in the plot and thanks to one forum I found out that they weren’t explained in the book either. Sadly for the movie, you have an expression that these were the filmmakers, who didn’t know how to write the screenplay and explain better the plot and characters. There are also moments, which kind of indicate the movie ends in two minutes only to disappoint you as it does still continue… Especially the last scene seems to be really redundant.
If I started with the disadvantages, it would be good to write about the good things, right? It’s a thriller slash drama movie with some kind of fairy-tale and this fairy-tale was something special. Even though it’s a film based on a book and everything was created by its author, it was the task of the filmmakers to create the dim forest and nervous atmoshpere, which they fulfilled very well! By the time you find out why the children were kidnapped, you get to see at least three shocking and disgusting scenes, as some people in the cinema were disturbed while watching them. The tasteless scenes somehow make sense and cause that you at least, well got shocked while watching them and something indeed happened in the movie.
It’s pitty that Marcin Dorociński didn’t get a chance to play bigger role and that his character was so strangely created: you have no clue which is his goal and why he was introduced. He doesn’t have any influence on the main character and although he plays some more important scenes at the end, we could easily imagine Alicja Tabor doing it on her own.
So, should you watch it or not? There’s nothing special in this movie: acting, story, music, cinematography are everything we already saw before. It took me also a lot of time to think what I could write about this movie at all and if the movie doesn’t evoke many discussions, it might be also ok to skip it.