Monday, August 2, 2021

Warsaw 44: a ruined opportunity


Greetings, commies!

You can never have too many WWII films on your list. I am always browsing Amazon suggestions. Every few months new titles are added. Being of mixed Central European heritage, I am addicted to movies about the Eastern front. I encourage you to watch Warsaw 44. Let me know if you are bothered by the same things I was bothered by when I watched it. 


The true story of a group of scouts called Szare Szeregi during the Nazi occupation of Warsaw. The liberation of one of its members through maverick military action in broad daylight known as ''Action at the Arsenal," was the single biggest feat undertaken by a youth resistance organization in all of occupied Europe during WWII. Polish language with English subtitles.

My thoughts:

I really wanted to love this movie. The subject of Polish resistance, so dear to my heart, is so unfairly underrepresented in film and literature. It made me sad to see what would be a serious and poignant feature reduced to a war game ad. The most powerful WWII movies have minimal soundtracks. Nothing creates suspense like eerie lull. The loud, obnoxious, campy soundtrack in "Warsaw 44" detracts from the story. The slow motion kiss with bullets flying around evokes certain scenes from Chinese martial arts epics. "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Nazi". I know there were many parties involved in sponsoring the production of this movie, and it shows. There is no single vision. Multiple creative influencers were locking horns about what the look and the atmosphere of the film should be. 

Stylistic faults aside, the casting was pretty decent. The depiction of the Polish resistance fighters is realistic. They are not professional soldiers. They are earnest, fearless, passionate, sincere amateurs who have no formal military training. They still rise to the face the enemy. These kids stand up, knowing they will be wiped out. Yes, you can be both patriotic and realistic. Now, if someone could re-edit the movie with a better soundtrack and get rid of the cartoonish special effects!

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