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Date: 2020-02-27 12:47:36
Viewed: 181 times - 10 hour, 42 minute, 11 second ago
As the Corpus Christi review points out, after the war of City 44 Jan Komasa returns to deal with what he does best: to tell about tormented youth. The protagonist of Corpus Christi, presented in Venice 2019 in the Venice Days section, is the twenty-year-old Daniel, who just came out of the word from the reformatory after inadvertently killing a man. In prison Daniel approaches a priest and convinces himself that he wants to follow in his footsteps, but the priest distracts him from the idea of taking vows since no seminary would accept him because of his criminal past. Daniel does not give up and once free, after breaking the rules of the reformatory, he pretends to be a priest, plunging into a rural village plagued by serious mourning and upsetting the precarious balance with his nonconformist ways.
For Corpus Christi, Jan Komasa needed an intense and charismatic young actor. The director found him in Bartosz Bielenia, emerging with a clean face and magnetic gaze. Behind the air as a good boy, Daniel is absolutely unpredictable, ready for gestures of incredible sweetness or immense ferocity. The young man's restlessness, severely tested by the violence of the reformatory, finds an outlet in the parish to be managed and in the problematic parishioners, whose faith is frozen in the tragedy that struck the country a few years earlier. During his fiction, Daniel approaches the same age Eliza, the only one capable of looking beyond appearances and facing the past drama with the detachment necessary to learn to move forward. The influence of the two young people on the village will help to unlock the situation.
Fresh air from Poland
From Eastern Europe, interesting, innovative and courageous works have come in the last decade. In the wake of the Romanian New Wave, even niche films for the general public such as the Bulgarian and Polish ones are increasingly appearing on the international scene with films of great emotional impact. Corpus Christi is no exception, a film that finds its balance by combining strong colors and psychological digging of the characters, without missing moments of humor. Jan Komasa's film moves on a double track: on the one hand it focuses attention on its protagonist, the intense Bartosz Bielenia, and on its excesses, with cassock or without. Daniel is a difficult young man to catalog, taciturn and full of anger, violent and capable of profound philosophical thoughts. The animalistic impulses to which the boy often lets himself go are counterbalanced in the religious afflatus from which he feels pervaded so much to think that he has found in the faith a landing point to put a heeled adolescence back on track. Not that this prevents him from time to time to consume drugs and casual sex, behavior not exactly in line with religious precepts.
Portrait of a troubled adolescence or choral film?
But Corpus Christi is also a choral film. Daniel passes from prison to the Polish village of which he pretends to be parish priest. The director surrounds him with eccentric and varied characters, often and willingly over the top as much as their new prelate. Beside the thoughtful Eliza is the rigid and bigoted mother, closed in pain from the loss of her son in the mysterious car accident that occurred years earlier. There is the vicar who loves alcohol a little too much and there is the widow of the driver who caused the accident, on which her husband's faults fell. Rejected and alone, the woman lives on the edge of the country and refuses all contact with others. And then there is the mellifluous and calculating mayor and the other inhabitants, all with their oddities and their sins to be expiated. The existence of this collage of strange figures is shaken by the arrival of a young priest who forces them to face the incident screaming (literally) their pain on the street and rediscovering God where no one thought could exist.
Jan Komasa's visual style is direct, immediate, with strong hues. Thanks to the excited and intense acting of his characters, the director alternates explosive sequences with moments of hieratic fixity. Here and there pictorial references are gathered to embellish the whole. Corpus Christi stands out for its balance and ability to vary register without ever losing sight of the essence of its author's style. Since the energetic opening sequence set in the reformatory, the viewer is dragged into Daniel's world and cannot fail to sympathize with this character despite his imprudences and his mood swings. The author holds us by the hand making us part of a human story - apparently inspired by a true story - and fueling our hope for a happy ending which, given the harshness of the situation, could be anything but taken for granted.
The new Polish cinema reserves many surprises, as evidenced by the review of Corpus Christi, a drama with humorous nuances that explores the problematic youth of an ex-prisoner by mixing high themes such as religion, forgiveness, self-acceptance, sense of community. Choral and at the same time deeply individualistic film, the immediate visual style and the strong-colored tones capture the viewer in a whirlwind of emotions to discover an author and a cast to keep an eye on.
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