Its funny how you can like the idea of a film but not actually feel that compelled to watch it. I’ve had this film for years now. Anything in b/w from the 60’s usually hooks me in. And this is Roman Polanski’s first film. So lets jump in the water at last.
Well to do couple pick up young hitcher and take him out on their boat. (To be nit-picky the hitching scene doesn’t feel real)
Young wife is wearing the kind of glasses you only see on severe looking librarians. Then she takes them off. And lies out on the boat like this
A great framing shot that. The film is good on photography.
I’m wondering how this is going to be kept interesting, being on this boat for the next 79 minutes.
Turns out it isn’t really. Theres some joshing between the 2 males, with the Old Bull (Leon Niemczyk) trying to show off to the young Bum (boy) (Zygmunt Malanowicz) what a superior Alpha Male he is.
Was it meant to be being a suspense thriller? Well, there’s not a lot of supense thrilling me. A psycho-drama of the menage a tois variety? I suppose so. But the script feels undercooked (and it isn’t helping that the subtitles are spasmodic, so you’re missing quite a bit of whats being said) Jolanta Umecka (Krystyna) as the young wife obviously couldn’t act and Polanski wasn’t able to break much emotion into her. They overdubbed her voice in the end, as well as Zygmunt Malanowiczs (with Polanskis) which maybe explains why i’m picking up quite a massive dose of disconnect in the dynamic between the 3 performers.
Mostly theres a limp wind sailing through this film that makes it feel listless. I’ve wanted to bail out after about half an hour (im just not into nautical, or things that bob boringly about on water)
The boys big flashy knife is like a 4th character. Is it going get stuck into somebody? I suppose thats the “suspense” Polanski is teasing our minds with. So what does he go and do? He makes the knife go overboard, plop harmless off. Then Old Bully shoves Boy off boat. We’re getting some drama at last. The last 20 minutes revives, but doesn’t entirely redeem, the films listing lostness.
Film was considered quite daring for and in its time; showing a woman stripping hadn’t been seen in a Polish film before. But I felt more dulled than dared by it.
And again, there’s sax jazzing up a cool veneer of hipness that actually makes the film feel quite dated now (plus I’m now officially allergic to anything with sax and jazz in it)
What could have been better than watching some mucking about on a boat on a lake on a Sunday afternoon? Er, actually mucking about on a boat on a lake on a Sunday afternoon.
Dir: Roman Polanski, Poland