Tuesday, June 28, 2011
#148: Decalogue II
(To read the first in this series, click here.)
Chapter: Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
Gist: A man fights for his survival in a hospital against a rare disease. His wife loves him but doesn't necessarily wants to see him alive.
Script: An intricate interplay of relationships served beautifully- the best of the series.
Acting: The movie's centerpiece is a most compelling performance by the doctor
played by veteran Polish actor Alexander Bardini. His lonely existence is only brightened by recounting stories of his past with his maid and in his patient's wife, Dorota (Krystyna Janda) he finds a reason to look forward to his days. His acting prowess is unmatched as he goes about his daily routine without any excitement and yet finds enough purpose in trying to ascertain if the concerned patient will survive or die.
Technical craft: I'll have to say here that I was so engrossed in the story that I didn't really notice anything either supreme or ordinary enough to point out.
Piece de resistance moments: Numerous. Listing some of them would end up serving as spoilers hence reserving a few but the first conversation between the wife and the doctor and the last dialogue of the movie is memorable to a fault.
In a nutshell: Decalogue II shows us exactly why the series is revered so highly as a movie. Its morally binding situations that the protagonists find themselves in pulls us towards them and leaves an impact on us. The chapter is not just the cream of the crop as far as Decalogue is concerned but this segment perhaps can even claim to be the brightest star of Kieslowski's glittering career. If there's one Kieslowski movie you should watch before dying, this is it.
Decalogue Rating: 10/10
P.S: Rating here implies a relative rank compared to the other 9 chapters and not an absolute rank in itself.