A Star is Born… But Good
Cold War | Directed by Paweł Pawlikowski | Drama/Romance | R | 1 H 29 MIN
Written by Anton Charpentier
Reading the title may invoke imagery of political upheaval, power-grabs, and double agents; this is not one of those stories. Pawlikowski’s Cold War is a romantic epic that’s both visual tiramisu and a cup of ice-cold reality. The story follows two lovers across several years as they maneuver through Soviet occupied and free Europe. Beginning in Poland, we follow an esteemed music director Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) as he works on creating music for the Soviet government. At an audition for a traveling music act, he meets a young woman named Zula (Joanna Kulig), whom he falls madly in love with. The two lovers then plan an escape to France where they’ll be free creatively and mentally. The result of which sends them on a long journey of love, pain and suffering.
The direction of the film is done expertly, with every cinematic aspect feeling as if it we’re hand selected and placed into the films tapestry. I’d like to think that this is the film Tarkovsky would make if he were interested in narrative storytelling. The films visual composure is perhaps some of the best we’ve seen this year and watching the high contrast black and white imagery is absolutely breathtaking. The writing here is something to applaud as well, taking a somewhat traditional concept and bringing something refreshing and new to it. As I say, it’s like this year’s A Star Is Born, but actually innovative and interesting.
The performances are also at the top of their game, breathing life into this story. The film relies heavily on the chemistry between its two leads and actors Joanna Kulig and Tomasz Kot both deliver and then some. While literally every other aspect of the film is literal perfection, none of it would matter if not for these powerful performances. By the end of the films 90-minute run, I felt as if every mad decision two had made was completely rational because I really did think these two were in love. With every shot in this film being cinematic perfection, it only makes sense that the casting would follow suit.
In short, you’d be a fool to skip out on this movie. The fact that you’re reading this review and not buying a ticket right now is an act against your faith of choice; seriously, go see this movie as soon as possible. I love this movie, and I’m positive you will too. Plus if it helps, you’ll be the coolest person at your Oscar party if you start recommending this film to all of your friends. While this film would be fine on your state of the art 75” OLED 4K television, it’s probably easier just to go watch it at your local cinema. Regardless, you can’t go wrong if you’ve decided to watch this movie.
Watch the Official Trailer Below