Tuesday, 10 September 2013

A review: “W sypialni” [2012 Poland]

Tomasz Wasilewski's directorial début, "W sypialni" [Eng. Title: In the Bedroom] is a minimalist drama about a middle aged woman in crisis.

Edyta (Katarzyna Herman) has left home, and upon arriving in Warsaw, spends most of her time in her car - driving around the city, and sometimes sleeping in it. With little or no means, she feeds clandestinely off supermarket shelves, and meets up with men through the internet in order to take advantage of their unsuspecting hospitality, by helping herself after drugging them, to food, shower, and whatever there is, but making sure to leave before they wake up. She meets Patryk (Tomasz Tyndyk) on one such 'date', but leaves in hurry after an argument, forgetting her handbag in the process. She returns reluctantly the following day to ask for it. Patryk not only returns the bag, but also invites her to join him for breakfast, and a tentative relationship - platonic at first, develops between the two. However Edyta could not, or would not want to take things to the next level for reasons that'll initially baffle Patryk. He'll learn to accept her decision nevertheless, but not before letting her know of his feelings for her...

For a feature film with a runtime of 72 minutes, it is a bit short and I fear, perhaps too short for its own good. There is no questioning the film's technical and artistic merits - impressive as it is for someone making their début. But the austere tone and narrative requires more fleshing out of the protagonist's character in order to resonate with the general audience - it is perhaps a bit too subtle for its own good, even if I personally didn't have a problem understanding Edyta's motivations or state of mind.

There are two scenes that strenuously draw attention to her disposition. In the first, she calls home but doesn't utter a word, but the person at the other end - her husband, recognises who it is, and begs her to return. The second is when she's in a young woman's house, enquiring about her child's father, to which the woman replies that he's already married to another woman. We know that Edyta hasn't left home to fulfil a hedonistic impulse, nor is she in a desperate need to seek comfort in someone else's arms - she has traditional morals, and even with the man she gets close to - Patrick, her reactions are mostly maternal. But a little more detail would have enhanced the film further. My main concern is the English title, which is not really what the film is about. But it is a promising début by the Polish film maker, and Recommended Viewing..!

DVD Purchase Link [PAL]


The Nudity: Katarzyna Herman and Tomasz Tyndyk
The film opens with Edyta undressing in front of the mirror to have a bath - and I dare say Katarzyna Herman sure does have an impressive pair of legs for someone in her forties. There is also nudity from Tomasz Tyndyk emerging from water, even if an excited Edyta is too embarrassed to be seen admiring him. :)

Katarzyna Herman and Tomasz Tyndyk nude in W sypialni


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