I love types of films like Pawel Pawlikowski’s “Cold War”. It reminds me of classic films such as “Casablanca”, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “Life Is Beautiful”, “Modern Times”, etc. As a guy who watches everything, my mission is to attract the attention of people who still haven’t appreciated the film as part of the art. And one more thing, I want to make people interested in the aesthetic of black and white films. I want to make people change their perspective on classic films, especially black and white films.
We just don’t need to go back to the past. We are still in the past. Films such as “The Lighthouse“, “Nebraska”, “Frances Ha” and any other modern black and white movies still exist in modern filmmaking full of color. Films like “Cold War” have made me forget how movies have changed. Pawel Pawlikowski reminds you of a legendary tale of a couple who falls in love with each other and tries to live together. It’s just that, they must be able to pass various challenges first of the many different ideologies and politics.
“Cold War” is more to a deeply personal of a romance story, especially for the director himself. Cinematically, the strike performance from Tomasz Kot and Joanna Kulig is so attractive. Tomasz Kot plays Wiktor, a music director. Joanna Kulig plays Zula, an actor, and singer that Wiktor teaches. Wiktor made the first step towards Zula and they finally fell in love with each other. Their important mission is to get out of communist Poland for France and be able to live freely without political restraints.
It’s a simple story. While “Cold War” in my opinion immediately became an ageless timeless classic movie in modern like “Ida”, another work from the director and black-and-white format too, it’s such a simple movie to experience it. It’s just about two people trying to live their lives in confinement. Wiktor and Zula have to put together a scenario like pretending to betray one another or deliberately throwing themselves away for someone else. They do all of it so that their true identity remains in themselves. They don’t want to play it safe but they have to take consequence by consequence.
Like “Ida”, the aesthetically beautiful cinematic unparalleled photography by Lukasz Zal allows us to absorb the thematic point of what blends between the scene and frame. The aspect ratio of 1.37 : 1 makes the whole nature of this movie very open; like a picture of the countryside in Paris. In most of the frames, there is freedom and it works constantly against one to another scene. Like, for instance, when two characters have their frame and space. In specific scenes, there is a frame where there are more than two characters with the same movement. The first sequence, the dance sequence, and the scene are one of them.
“Cold War” is a musical romantic drama movie. And speaking of music, it’s not just music within music. It’s a music that supports closely how these two characters are very difficult to separate but do it forcefully. Wiktor is the teacher and Zula is the student. They are connected because of music and music itself comes from how their relationship is bound by a unity of feeling. In essence, music becomes everything when it comes to two characters. Whether there is hope or hopelessness, there is music in all of these two characters in themselves.
I know this is an 89-runtime movie let alone this is just a standard romance movie. I know how people found it repetitive, flat, and uncrafted. Characters justifications, all of the characters, has an absent element. The chemistry between characters didn’t lead much pay-off. The time-skip in every next story doesn’t feel like if it’s been over for more than a year. When one sequence is complete, the frame fades to black. Pawlikowski also used a text plot, reminding the audience of how much time had passed. Regardless of which, I love this movie and didn’t make me think if this is a monotonous movie.
For movies like this, also “The Lighthouse”, I want to enjoy these films in the following years. It makes me love what classic movies are. And at the end of the day, two characters in this movie love each other. Even the last shot at the end of the movie has a lot of meaning to the canvas. Pawlikowski, not only honor his parent’s relationship, hits a timeless cinema in this modern-day era with so much pop culture. But for this movie, it’s capable and fascinating to watch movies like this than watching mainstream media. And yes, I’m elitist. Just judge me later on.