Thursday, July 24, 2014


Sometimes it's hard for a film to tackle a heavy subject and still remain subdued. Often times the film gets bogged down by said subject and stays that way for the rest of its duration. However, there are those that stay subdued from beginning to end.

In regards to Pawel Pawlikowski's Ida, it graciously falls into the latter category. (Then again, it's usually hard to make a subdued film when it revolves around World War II and the Holocaust.) Rather than relying more on the flashy, dramatic moments, the focuses more on the quiet reactions from the characters.

The main characters are the titular Ida (Agata Trzebuchowska) and her aunt Wanda (Agata Kulesza). Both lead very different lives; Ida is planning to become a nun while Wanda lives a lonely life of drinking. Their lives couldn't be any more opposite, certainly, but once they meet, they start to become similar.

The small details of Ida are what make the film all the more mesmerizing. Every sound from footsteps in the snow to the turning of pages in a book is echoed to provide a more intimate portrait. And the cinematography by Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski renders every shot as though they were photographs, each with a story of their own to tell.

Ida is a quiet film but that doesn't mean it can't leave an impact on the viewer. Filled with gorgeous long takes, the film shows how sometimes the smallest details make the biggest impact.

My Rating: *****

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