Thursday, June 16, 2011

#140: Decalogue VIII



(To read the first in this series, please click here.)

Chapter: Thou shalt not bear false witness

Gist: A young Jewish girl, who in the midst of war was first promised help by a Catholic family in Warsaw and then refused, returns to meet the family 40 odd years later.

Script: Moderately effective.

Acting: A rare chapter where both the acting leads are women. Both understated in their approach but the elder lady Zofia (Maria Koscialkowska) communicated better than Elzibieta (Teresa Marczewska). Both women were dealing with heavy duty emotions and yet one could somehow sense Zofia's pain better.

Technical craft: Staid and safe. Not much experimentation and no background score either.

Piece de resistance moments:
Zofia's realisation that Elzbieta is narrating the former's own story in class is a wonderful moment. Zofia's reaction without saying a word expresses quite a lot.
The intertwining of two other stories within this- once through a character and once through a narration.

In a nutshell: Decalogue VIII has a very high emotional baggage quotient and sometimes it suffers under its own weight. It's strength is Zofia and her explanation of her actions yet it would still be one among the bottom 3 of Dekalog stories.

Decalogue Rating: 3/10
P.S: Rating here implies a relative rank compared to the other 9 chapters and not an absolute rank in itself.