Friday 16 March 2012

No End [1985]

No End might very well be regarded as the film that signaled the transitioning in Polish master Krzysztof Kieslowski’s filmmaking career. While it had considerable political content and commentary like most of his earlier films, it was also filled with the kind of spiritual turbulence and inner crisis that marked his more internationally renowned later ones – in the latter sense it formed a great precursor to his Blue. The sudden death of Antek, a young and upcoming attorney, leaves Urszula (Grazyna Szapolowska), his strikingly beautiful wife in a state of emotional devastation – though she’s initially in a state of denial, the realization slowly starts engulfing her. Meanwhile, a client of Antek faces long imprisonment for having been one of the leaders of the Gdansk strikes, and consequently Urszula, for humane rather than political reasons, decides to help the political dissident’s distraught wife by referring her to Antek’s aged mentor. Kieslowski did a terrific job at balancing the two parallel strands of the storyline, and the end product is a haunting, disturbing and a deeply affecting work that managed to transcend the barriers between the outside world and the protagonist’s inner self. Gorgeously photographed and beautifully scored, this wonderfully paced work in the domain of magic realism comprised of a series of excellent, naturalistic turns led by an unflinchingly brilliant performance by Grazyna (better known for A Short Film about Love), who completely opened herself both physically and emotionally in her portrayal.

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Political Drama/Spiritual Drama
Language: Polish
Country: Poland


Chris said...

I gave No End a look recently, and have to admit I was not as impressed as you were. Most of Kieslowski's early work I find to be a little inaccessible. I'm curious to see Camera buff(1979), which other bloggers have praised as an early milestone.
I could definitely see No End was a precursor to Blue, the woman struggling with grief, absolutely!

Shubhajit said...

Thanks Chris for sharing your views on the film. Yes, it seems we do differ significantly on this one. As for Camera Buff, do watch it - its really good. Also Blind Chance, if you already haven't.

Sam Juliano said...

Well, I must say I completely agree with you on this one Shubhajit. it was a spiritual forerunner of the great masterpieces that were to come, and in every sense it's essential viewings for cineastes. Completely agreed that Kieslowski orchestrated the two story-lines brilliantly.

Superb review!

Shubhajit said...

Thanks a lot Sam. I found it such a profoundly moving film with a great parallel commentary that I couldn't help but recommend it as essential viewing for all cinephiles and cineastes. Great to know that you too felt the same way about this Kieslowski gem.

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