Before he transitioned into his distinctive aesthetic style, Kieślowski was a defiantly political filmmaker. Blind Chance, the transitional work between these phases, along with the hauntingly beautiful previous film No End, was the most politically bristling of the lot. It was also a fascinating concept film – a template to Tom Tykwer’s pulsating Run Lola Run – in how a person’s life gets shaped through seemingly innocuous external factors. The narrative portrayed three subtly overlapping versions of the future of a guy – Witek (Bogusław Linda), a medical student who’s taken a break to sort out his priorities upon his father’s death – based on the “hinge” of whether or not, upon a mad final dash, he succeeds in catching a train to Warsaw. In the morally complex 1st scenario, he catches the train and becomes puppet to Party bosses, only to inadvertently lead to the arrest of a dissident, liberated girl (Bogusława Pawelec) he’s in love with; in the 2nd scenario, he misses the train and slams into a railway guard, and the sequence of events leads to his joining underground Solidarity resistance, and falling for the older sister of a childhood friend; in the final scenario too he misses the train, but without any disrupting consequences, and he slides into a conformist, bourgeois, marital life. The external political forces, ironically, remained unaltered, which he reacts to in differing ways depending on the course his life has taken; things, however, end on a bleak note in all three tableaus – in disillusionment, despair and death, respectively. The washed-out photography, melancholic score and muted style added further layers to the film which, unsurprisingly, was suppressed by Polish authorities for 6 years, before a censored version was allowed to release.
p.s. This is a revisit. My earlier review of this film can be found here.
Director: Kryzstof Kieslowski
Genre: Drama/Political Drama/Psychological Drama