Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
on 16 October 2012
Kieslowski wrote and directed this before masterpieces like "The double life of Veronique," and "Three colours blue/white/red" trilogy.But this is the foundation upon which those critically acclaimed works was built.A shorter version of this forms one of the ten part Dekalogue DVD series, so this is about 35 minutes longer,and every minute is pure gold.
There is a starkness to this film that is missing from those that followed, but it is no less beautiful for it. This is a delicate film of incredible sensitivity, and it achieves an amazing balance of sympathies in us for both lead characters, quite a feat when they are such apparent polar opposites and also considering that the surface story is about an obsessive peeper/stalker and the seemingly shallow object/victim of his desire. If it truly becomes a short film about love, then that is thanks to it being elevated above the heights of loneliness,creepiness and lust by a brilliantly sparse and conscise script and some subtlely supreme acting and directing, and thanks above all to the humanity of Kieslowski. We feel for Tomek despite his apparent shallowness and deceits, but just when we are coming to a sympathetic understanding of him, some detail is dropped in concerning Magda's life, and we are suddenly disarmed and drawn to her, despite her own apparent shallowness and deceits.Kieslowski plays both sides with subtle skill and leaves us unable to choose which we are on, and in the end i would guess that most people are on both sides,simply because love has somehow flickered here and lit a candle in our hearts for both of these people.
Of course the reality of most scenarios concerning stalkers and their victims is nothing like what happens here,and this may actually sicken those who have been on the receiving end of real life obsessive creeps.But this film is not really about stalking, it is more about loneliness and the effects it has on normal human emotional expression, and perhaps a more accurate title would have been to swap the word "love" for "loneliness."
There is such a sweet sadness to this film,but such beauty too. How did Kieslowski manage to do it on such a low budget with such a basic story and so few characters? It is nothing short of incredible and never less than compelling. I just wish it could have gone on another half hour because it does leave so much hanging delicately in the balance.I would give it 100 stars if i could.