A simile? A metaphor? Maybe, even a pun? The title of the movie "Cold War" can refer to the time period the story takes place or the romance, or lack of chemistry between the two leads, or possible the photography of this black and white film.
We follow Wiktor (Thomas Kot) and Zula (Joanna Kulig) from the beginning of their romance when they meet in Poland where he an accomplished musician, conductor and producer, with his current lover and co-producer, Irena (Agata Kulesza) are auditioning singers and dancers for players in the Mazurek Ensemble which revolve around Polish countryside folk music. Wiktor and Zula fall in love though really not suited for each other and, many times, make selfish decisions that keep them apart though the cold war also interferes with their journey. They never discuss their being unfaithful to each other and what it does to them over time including Zula. In the mix is Kaczmarek (Borys Szyc), who was a driver for Wiktor and Irena and over the years has risen on the political scene.
A lot of the picture takes place in Paris, many scenes in a nightclub, Le Eclipse, and the soundtrack has music from Chopin to Billie Holiday to Bill Haley and the Comets.
The direction by Pawel Pawlikowski, along with cinematographer Lukas Zal, makes "Cold War" in the black and white 4:3 ratio photography look like paintings with each picture worthy of a museum showing. I was taken completely by surprise in the first scene a mirror was used as a background and having another scene with the screen filled with a field and 2 very small people looking like minatures in the lower corner was another wow moment.
Though Thomas Kot and Joanna Kulig didn't have any chemistry between them both present very striking figures, he with his imposing height and intense stare and she with a persona that makes you concentrate on her whenever she is in the camera's eye. It did bother me that she resembles an actress that I just couldn't name!
Last week the movie received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film of 2018 and though it is interesting it is also disappointing mainly because the love story aspect just doesn't deliver. Was "Cold War" a metephor? A Simile? Or was the title a pun reflecting on the couple's love?
If you are looking for a beautiful, moving, involved love story "Cold War" is not for you but if you want to see a beautiful black and white photographed moving picture and, maybe, learning a little about the cold war and how it affected lives this is one for you!