Janusz Gajos and Adrianna Biedrzynska star in THE DECALOGUE: FOUR (Dekalog, cztery), directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski for Warner Bros.

The Decalogue: Four (1990, Krzysztof Kieslowski)

With Four, Kieslowski engages with the television format of “The Decalogue” more than he has done before. No pun intended.

Four has a young woman discovering her father might not be her father, a fact he isn’t aware of either. Kieslowski and co-writer Piesiewicz don’t go so much for thought-provoking as discussion-provoking. Each moment in the episode is begging to be discussed, not analyzed.

Why not analyzed? Because Kieslowski and Piesiewicz create a closed system; they quarantine the sensational plot developments.

Playing the daughter, Adrianna Biedrzynska is okay. Kieslowski and editor Ewa Smal make sure to leave the viewer hints at where things are going. It’s more roadside billboards than ominous foreshadowing, particularly because the script’s structure is so soggy. Four stops and goes, stops and goes.

As a filmed play, it’s nearly successful (thanks to Biedrzynska and understated Janusz Gajos as the father).

As is? No.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski; written by Krzysztof Piesiewicz and Kieslowski; director of photography, Krzysztof Pakulski; edited by Ewa Smal; music by Zbigniew Preisner; production designer, Halina Dobrowolska; produced by Ryszard Chutkowski; released by Warner Bros.

Starring Adrianna Biedrzynska (Anka), Janusz Gajos (Michal), Tomasz Kozlowicz (Jarek), Andrzej Blumenfeld (Michal’s Friend), Elzbieta Kilarska (Jarek’s Mother), Adam Hanuszkiewicz (Professor) and Helena Norowicz (Doctor).


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