Tag Archives: Piotr Machalica

The Decalogue: Nine (1990, Krzysztof Kieslowski)

With Nine, writers Krzysztof Piesiewicz and Krzysztof Kieslowski have finally figured out how to parody themselves and the rest of The Decalogue. This entry, overwrought from the opening titles, is awful, but Piesiewicz and Kieslowski never quite commit to the more melodramatic, soap opera plotting they could. And Nine suffers for it.

Piotr Machalica is a successful surgeon who finds out he’s impotent. He dreads telling his wife (played by Ewa Blaszczyk in one of the more thankless roles in film history) because she obviously won’t love him anymore. Kieslowski’s direction hammers in all the symbolism–it becomes absurdist by the end (Nine actually plays far better as a comedy)–but he’s never able to establish any chemistry whatsoever between Machalica and Blaszczyk.

And why would there be any? She’s an awful, heartless woman; he’s a martyr for manhood.

Nine’s really lame. I’m actually surprised how bad it gets.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

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

Starring Piotr Machalica (Roman), Ewa Blaszczyk (Hanka), Jolanta Pietek-Górecka (Ola) and Jan Jankowski (Mariusz).


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The Decalogue: Six (1990, Krzysztof Kieslowski)

Six is a mess and it shouldn’t be, because at the center of it director Kieslowski has this phenomenal performance from Grazyna Szapolowska. He opens with her (doing some hippy thing where she “blesses” her food), then moves the story to her stalker, played by Olaf Lubaszenko.

Now, what eventually happens is Janet Leigh comes on to Norman Bates and he tries to kill himself and she realizes her wanton slutty modern woman ways have taken away her chance for godly happiness.

Along the way, there’s some truly amazing acting from Szapolowska and all these missed opportunities in Krzysztof Piesiewicz and Kieslowski’s script. Half the film goes to Lubaszenko peeping on her (it’d have been more effective, after all the melodramatics, if it had just been this odd stalking movie), then everything else is rushed. Including, unfortunately, when Szapolowska starts stalking him back.

Szapolowska’s performance deserved a far better script.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

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

Starring Grazyna Szapolowska (Magda), Olaf Lubaszenko (Tomek), Stefania Iwinska (Godmother), Artur Barcis (Young Man), Stanislaw Gawlik (Postman) and Piotr Machalica (Roman).


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