Mug review – metalhead meets giant Jesus in peculiar Polish comedy

the Guardian | 2/23/2018 | Peter Bradshaw
Małgorzata Szumowska’s Twarz (Polish for “face” or “mug”, the latter of which is the film’s English title) delivers the pleasure of vigorous storytelling. It is scabrous, mysterious and surprisingly emotional – inspired partly by the giant statue of Christ the King in Świebodzin in western Poland, completed in 2010, the tallest statue of Jesus in the world and a fierce religious and nationalist symbol. It is the face of patriotic Poland, and this is a film to put you in mind of Eliot’s lines about preparing a face to meet the faces that you meet.

Szumowska’s movie imagines a guy named Jacek (Mateusz Kosciukiewicz), employed as a builder on a giant statue like this as it begins to loom surreally over the landscape. He is an amiably scruffy, long-haired metalhead living at home with his extended family, whom he annoys with his vague plans to move to London. His brash brother-in-law (Robert Talarczyk) – a man with a fondness for jokes about blacks, Muslims and Jews – tells him the Brits are “wised up” to immigrants these days and won’t let him in; he says this, moreover, with every appearance of respect. Szumowska has perhaps moved the time period forward to a Brexit-zeitgeist. Jacek has a girlfriend (Małgorzata Gorol), but the person who seems to love him most is his sister (Agniezska Podsiadlik). All these people have something in common – they are exasperated by Jacek’s appearance: dishevelled, grinningly cheeky.

Jacek - Accident - Work - Jesus

Then Jacek is involved in a horrible accident at work. Standing on Jesus’s...
(Excerpt) Read more at: the Guardian
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