Dekalog (1989) s01e05 – Five

One has to admire Kieslowski’s dedication to his goal. Sure, Five–which is the “Thou shall not kill” episode of “Dekalog”–is a terrible rumination on the death penalty, but Kieslowski is all in. For his flashback, he does a whole sepia tone filter thing. It’s not good in terms of how it shapes the film, but it’s competently executed by Slawomir Idziak. Sometimes even really well executed.

The sepia tone isn’t enough, however. The foreshadowing explaining why Miroslaw Baka just has to plot to murder a taxi driver (after causing a traffic accident from an overpass because he’s bored) gets repeated in the conclusion, in painfully bad exposition. For most of Five, Baka is a disaffected, sullen sociopathic punk rock kid. At the end, he’s the pleading Catholic who has lost his way.

And Kieslowski really misses the boat with Krzysztof Globisz’s crusading attorney.

Five’s a dreadful hour.

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