Director, Writer: Pawe? Podlejski
Cast: Aleksandra Gr?cka, Pawe? Podlejski, Katarzyna Orszulka, Wiktoria Klich, Jacobina Blüm, Anna Marciniszyn, Roman Nacht, Grzegorz Poloczek, Anna Wilaszek, Joanna Wilaszek
Consolation (Pociecha) film review by Nadia Bee
A washed-out but handsome man, Patryk, returns home to Poland after spending over twenty years in Germany trying to make a career in film. He subsists by giving German language lessons, and slowly redecorates his modest flat in a prefab block. It’s a quiet life. Perhaps he is resigned, disappointed. A young woman, Paulina, appears on his doorstep one day, claiming to be the daughter he never knew he had.
Their deadpan dialogue, which occasionally veers into the acerbic, is a joy to behold. There is no false sentiment. Tough love is dished out from both sides. The humour is dry. But they each live with an existential problem. Paulina wants to emigrate to Germany, to build what she thinks will be a better life. Patryk meanwhile has just come back from exile, and doesn’t know, yet, how to build a new life now he is home again – to a home of sorts.
As their relationship develops, it becomes evident that both Patryk and Paulina are the resolute type. Patryk, after all, turns out to be not washed-out at all. If he is still getting over disappointments, especially – perhaps - in love, his wry humour and strong core remain unaffected. He is less lost than chilled, and he increasingly gives the sense that he is at home where he is. His modest flat has a balcony, surrounded by plants, and it is place to dream, perhaps. Quiet charm springs from what had seemed previously desolate.
A surprising twist redefines Patryk and Paulina’s relationship. It is again a wry, oblique moment - qualities which characterise this excellent, unassuming film.
Consolation is one of the key highlights of the Unrestricted View Film Festival, and director Pawe? Podlejski’s first feature. Podlejski, who studied screenwriting in Berlin, where he spent over two decades, also features in the film as Patryk, alongside Aleksandra Gr?cka who plays the role of Paulina. Both are accomplished in these roles, and their dialogue is an understated pleasure.
Consolation‘s economy of style and wry tone give the story a rare elegance. The film merits greater exposure in the UK. Here’s hoping it gets picked up for UK distribution, very soon.