blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Dekalog (1989) s01e04 – Four

With Four, Kieslowski engages with the television format of “Dekalog” 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).

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