Title: Tower. A Bright Day
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Director: Jagoda Szelc
Starring: Anna Krotoska, Malgorzata Szczerbowska, Anna Zubrzycki,
Runtime: 106 minutes
What It Is: The film introduces a family coming together to reunite and celebrate the Holy Communion of a young girl. Mula, the young girl’s “mother”, welcomes her extended family with open arms but expresses disdain at the presence of her estranged sister, Kaja. Throughout the course of the film, Mula’s patience is tested with every peculiar occurrence around the town and within her own home since Kaja’s arrival. Heavy tension only increases as the story continues, implying but never explicitly revealing what chilling mystery the audience has awaited until the very end almost two hours to witness- and barely even then.
What We Think: This particular film, although creepily intriguing, was somewhat difficult to watch due to the constant state of guessing that the story telling leaves the viewer in. There is a great deal of attention that must be paid to how everything is said and shown on screen- and for a good reason. For the majority of the film, it seems as though it is just a family trying to have a comfortable reunion surrounded around an important coming of age ceremony. There are some rather odd and disturbing happenings that occur every now and then- which don’t really seem to contribute to the story as a whole, but they are intertwined ever so occasionally within the story that one may forget from time to time what type of film they are actually watching until they are again reminded with an eerie shot of Kaja standing alone on a cliff in almost total darkness, or of the dog desperately trying to dig something out of the ground. There is almost an experimental feel to the movie that make or break one’s approval of the story and how it’s constructed. Personally, I appreciated how these strange and unexplainable happenings basically keep me guessing up until the very end- and still refuse to give me relief once I’ve finished. This film is unapologetically confusing and strange and at times hard to follow, and yet has every right to be so given the feeling I was left with after. I am sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting for something hopelessly tragic to erupt in my face, and it eventually does…but in a way that leaves me hungry for more explanation.
Our Grade: B+, Watching a movie that is a little too frustrating to follow along with can have its moments of feeling stagnant, and this film is no exception. However, it could require a keen sense of suspense and thrill to truly appreciate the way this feature makes you wait: wait for death, wait for revenge, wait for a tornado, waiting for something, anything to happen. Director Jagoda Szelc gives me an unsatisfying conclusion to my roller coaster of emotions through his features that make me want to wait a little longer more to see what else he may have in store.