Archive for the ‘Aga Woszczynska’ Category

Don’t Kill the Pool Boy

Silent Land

Director: Aga Woszczynska

Cast: Dobromir Dymecki, Agnieszka Zuleska, Jean-Marc Barr, Alma Jodborowsky, Marcello Romolo, Elvis Esposito

Film Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Running Time: 1 hour 53 minutes

Language: Polish and Italian with English Subtitles

Having premiered at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, first time Polish director Aga Woszczynska creates an angst filled character study about a seemingly perfect polish couple who rent a villa on a nameless Italian island complete with a swimming pool and beautiful views of the Mediterranean.

The couple in question are the beautiful Adam and his equally gorgeous wife Anna played respectively by Polish actors Dobromir Dymecki and Agnieszka Zuleska, a blond haired blue eyed couple whose beautiful vacation in Italy takes an unexpectedly weird turn, when the pool boy who comes to fix the villa’s broken swimming pool mysteriously drowns in the pool.

The pool boy’s untimely death sparks a communal interest from the swarthy locals especially the villa’s owner Fabio wonderfully played by Marcello Romolo and the kind police officer, the dashing Riccardo played with zest by Romanian Italian actor Elvis Esposito who appeared in the excellent  Italian series My Brilliant Friend.

As the investigation into the mysterious death continues, the brittle relationship between Adam and Anna begins to unravel. They make friends with a couple that run a diving school Arnaud and Claire, played by French actor Jean-Marc Barr who become famous with the spectacular 1988 film The Big Blue and went on to play Jack Kerouac in Big Sur. His wife Claire is played by French actress Alma Jodborowsky who was last seen in the Netflix series The Serpent opposite Tahar Rahim and Jenna Colman.

Director Aga Woszczynska’s slightly slow moving film Silent Land is similar to Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Oscar nominated film The Lost Daughter although not nearly as good. In both films, characters are placed in foreign lands and begin to unravel emotionally when something menacing occurs.

In Silent Land, it is really the disintegration of Adam and Anna’s relationship that transpires amidst the lustful and hot landscape of Mediterranean Italy, as their Polish sensibilities break down in a foreign environment and their inner selves are revealed.

Silent Land is a fascinating character study and a revealing mystery tale, although the film’s editing could have been more effective.

Despite its drawn out length, this Polish film ironically set in Italy is revealing and fascinating particularly the two main stars that hold the suspense together. Silent Land gets a film rating of 6.5 out of 10 and is recommended viewing as an art house film.

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