Sunday 30 November 2008

Ashes and Diamonds [1958]

Polish master Andrzej Wajda’s most famous (and perhaps his finest) film, Ashes and Diamonds was the final chapter in his famed World War II trilogy. The movie, set on the last day of 20th Century’s most acrimonious war, in one of the worst affected countries – Poland, this is a deeply anti-war movie; it is thought-provoking, but never overtly aggressive. The plot involves a young member of the underground resistance movement being entrusted with the job of carrying out an assassination. But the movie, in essence, focuses on much more – ranging from political confusion and ideological ambiguity in a mission which for outsiders and fanatics was wither black or white, to love and comradeship at times of war. Though the subtitles gave me a lot of trouble (the bit rates of the movie and the subtitles were different, and hence necessitated a lot of adjusting) and didn’t let me have a very fulfilling experience, the Camus-esque existentialism and the strangely affecting performance of the lead actor, posthumously labeled Polish James Dean for his promising career having been cut short by his tragic death, caught my attention nonetheless.

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Genre: Drama/Political Drama/Resistance Film/War Drama
Language: Polish
Country: Poland


Anonymous said...

I keep missing the opportunities to see the film .I've just seen Wajda's Man of Marble and found it remarkable. WIll see it someday.

Shubhajit said...

Having watched this movie, the chief sense of my satisfaction would be for having watched a universally acknowledged masterpiece, i.e. for the aura surrounding the movie. As for the actual movie, my feelings are ambiguous at best, quite akin to the political ideologies of the protagonist.