Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War (Zimna Wojna) is a compassionate visual drama shot on a simmering aspect ratio of 4:3. Monochrome was never so enchanting as it was through the lens of Lukasz Zal, vividly framing picturesque humanscape amidst European War. Set against the backdrop of Cold War in the 1950s, it’s a love story between two people of different backgrounds and temperaments, who are fatally mismatched and yet fatefully condemned to each other.
Although a predictable narrative, it’s a definitive answer of a director’s approach – we know how it’s going to end, but the process is fulfilling to the core. Straightforward narrative is coupled with dance and music, striking resemblance to Casablanca (1942) but more aesthetically mounted. In its aesthetic, it’s a poetic masterpiece with every scene simmered and drenched in passion.
Joanna Kulig, who also featured in Pawlikowski’s Oscar-winning Ida (2015) is astounding. She inherits the character rise intimately by spicing up the chemistry in her arms. Pawel Pawlikowski describes the characters inspired from his parents as “the most interesting dramatic characters I’ve ever come across…both strong, wonderful people, but as a couple a never-ending disaster”.
Cold War ends on a bittersweet note but never emotionally manipulates since the style and content compete closely – an intimate doomed star-crossed affair.
India Premiere | Fiction | Time: 90 Mins
Section: World Cinema | Country: Poland, France, UK
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