"Tricks" at New York Polish Film Festival 2008

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Director Andrzej Jakimowski depicts a wonderfully down to earth drama seen through the eyes of a young precocious six year old boy- Stefek (Damian Ul) . Stefek is without a father and through his unique vision we are taken away into the hardworking lives of his community.

The working class village is comprised of very richly developed characters including, teen sister Elka (Ewelina Walendziak) who desires to better herself and is industrious, her mechanic beau named Jerzy (Rafal Guzniczak) who adores Elka but is taken by the not so wholesome and voluptuous, Violka (Joanna Liszowska) and Stefek and Elka’s mother (Iwona Fornalczyk) who keeps shop

In his daily travels, Stefek eyes a businessman (Tomasz Sapryk) who is switching trains. The man triggers a memory of his not forgotten father. He strategizes how to get this man to his mother’s place of business. . Stefek chooses to absorb the world around him like a sponge and has come to enjoy the company of her sister and Jerzy.

Cinematically, shots are rarely static and always seem to move us in a unique direction. Framed stylistically and imbued with earthy tones of amber, rich contrasts of lighting, the film is warm and inviting. Marvelous performances by the cast and young Stefek takes us knowingly along and steals the show. Without him, the film would not had this “golden thread” which keeps the film consistent and always interesting.

*** ½
Weak: 1 Star   Average: 2 Stars   Good: 3 Stars   Very Good: 4 Stars   Excellent: 5 Stars

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Tobe R. Roberts

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