365 Days (365 Dni) (2020) by Barbara Białowąs & Tomasz Mandes

At some point the film starts taking itself seriously. That is when it feels like a child trying to tame a puppy. The bodies writhe against each other. But the tension is missing.

1.5 out of 4 stars

365 Days, directed by Barbara Bialowas, Tomasz Mandes, tries to come off as a film. Which is courageous, because almost all of its aspects act otherwise. The dialogues feel like a moose talking to a baby sheep in a county lamb farm. The lighting arrangements feel like a circus by first time amateurs. The story… oh well. And yet it tries to be believable as a film. And mostly it does, it has supposedly become a hit. A reason for this might be that behind closed doors, people are loving what they see. Save decency for the placards.

The story (oh well) goes like this. Massimo (Michele Morrone) is supposed to be a leading drug dealer. The filmmakers are fascinated by this aspect, but not really interested in it. One fine day, he comes across Laura (Anna-Maria Sieklucka). Laura does some sort of work. Massimo remembers that when he was dying, her face and her body acted like Florence Nightingale for him. So when he meets her again, he kidnaps her. And then it is all about a child trying to tame a puppy. The characters might look different from a child or a puppy, but inside, that is exactly what they are. Was there any other way to deal with such a content? Probably not. And that is why it comes off as a film. Almost.

It could also have been tolerable. Had it not doubted its own purpose. Even though it tries its best to be The Road Runner Show for first-time porn watchers, somewhere it starts taking itself seriously. There appears an underlying intensity which shouldn’t be there. The characters start behaving like they have hearts. The result is confusion. The bodies are writhing, but the tension is missing. There are screams, when they should be moans. This is a possibility in a film where subtlety means squat. Lack of intimacy means no sex. Attraction equates kidnapping. Mafia means body marks of injuries. But it ends up turning the brute into a child, while the chick, well she was a puppy to begin with. This affects the performances as well. Both Michele Morrone and Anna-Maria Sieklucka try hard, but both appear lost.

At some point, Massimo tells Laura that he was seeing her while he was almost dying. That Laura ends up believing in this horseshit is the only convincing aspect of the film. It shows inside our homes locked down with our loved ones, how much we are desperate for something more. That the more arrives in the form of 365 Days for the viewers is hardly an insult, because even the audience does not know what it wants. Do the people want to be wild? Sure! Do the people also want to be decent? Of course.

Credits:

Directed by

Barbara Bialowas & Tomasz Mandes

Written by

Barbara Bialowas… (screenplay associate)
Tomasz Klimala … (screenplay)
Blanka Lipinska … (based on novel by)
Blanka Lipinska … (screenplay associate)
Tomasz Mandes … (screenplay associate)

Cinematography by

Bartek Cierlica

Editing by

Marcin Drewnowski

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