Sunday, 12 January 2014

Being second is no fun: "Nic smiesznego" [1995 Poland]

Marek Koterski's drama "Nic smiesznego" [Eng. Title: Nothing Funny] is a droll observation of an unhappy film director's life and fortunes. His professional and personal failure - largely of his own making, is illustrated through various comedic episodes with a touch of irony and barely concealed bitterness.

"I've always come 2nd", bemoans Adam Miauczynski (a recurring character in Koterski's films, played here by Cezary Pazura), from a mortuary trolley - our hero is already dead before he takes us on a walk through his memory lane. Whether being subservient to his elder brother since childhood, putting up with a rotten marriage, or struggling to make it in his chosen profession, Adam's life has been replete with disappointments despite all his efforts to overcome them.

His hilariously unsuccessful attempts to change his fortunes are tinged with melancholy - of a person desperately seeking love and recognition, but hopelessly out of depth in a post-feminist and post-communist Poland. He spends all his life searching for his 'Malgorzata' - his ideal woman, but in his pursuit, he'll loose sight of wood from the trees, and will ironically fail to recognise his 'Malgorzata' even after bumping into one.

Outwardly, the film is a comedy of manners and bumbling goofs with its fair share of slapstick moments - not always well-executed, but it works because it's more than just a comedy. Cezary Pazura's characterisation of Adam isn't that different from Selton Mello's Lourenço (from the Brazilian drama O Cheiro do Ralo), in the way they grapple with their existential ennui. In addition, there are nuances in the film that foreign viewers may fail to pick up on - particularly relating to its history, but will nevertheless find resonance in a Polish audience. A worthwhile film that's Recommended Viewing..!

Amazon DVD Link [PAL] | Amazon DVD Link [NTSC]


The Nudity: Agnieszka Buczek, Katarzyna Gajdarska, Ewa Grabarczyk, Malgorzata Werner, and Joanna Jedrejek
Female characters are entirely incidental in a film's plot mainly focusing on the protagonist. Five of them appear in the nude during their respective encounters with Adam - all of them comedic.

Agnieszka Buczek, Katarzyna Gajdarska, Ewa Grabarczyk, Malgorzata Werner, and Joanna Jedrejek nude in Nic smiesznego


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