Blind Chance (Przypadek) (1989)
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Critic Reviews for Blind Chance (Przypadek)
The performances are uniformly excellent. Yet somehow this seems strangely hollow.
Linda's possible futures split into three while he's running to catch a train, but Kieslowski keeps his audience aware of the infinite branching points in every life, while insisting that people don't fundamentally change.
But one of the elements that makes this film so remarkable, and so cohesive, is that whether Witek finds himself a communist apparatchik or a dissident activist, some essential self dictates his actions.
Criterion bolsters their roster of Polish cinema in a triumphant way with Blind Chance, the indelible fulcrum of Krzysztof Kieślowski's career as a documentarian and his blossoming as a major arthouse auteur.
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Audience Reviews for Blind Chance (Przypadek)
Blind Chance is very much in the vein of the other Kieslowski films: well-shot, very sensuous, dramatic and wistful score, frequent use of symbolism. I feel like if I understood the symbols, Polish culture and history, then I would rate this higher. Also, be warned that the DVD transfer is poor and the colors are often awful. I suppose it is a testament to the film's aesthetic qualities that I still found Blind Chance a pleasure to view for them alone.
Made in 1981 but suppressed for several years, this early Krzysztof Kieslowski film is more interesting for its structure than for its specific plot details (which lack resonance for viewers like me who aren't so familiar with Polish politics). The central character is Witek, a young medical student feeling adrift after his father's recent death. Three alternate stories follow, hinging upon whether he successfully catches a train to Warsaw. This unusual gimmick obviously influenced the '90s films "Run Lola Run" and "Sliding Doors," which is why every darn "Blind Chance" review brings up this similarity. In the first sequence, Witek barely catches the train and meets an older man who steers him toward working for the national Communist party. In the second, he misses the train, is arrested after fighting with a security guard and ends up joining the anti-Communist underground. In the third, he misses the train, avoids the fight and instead becomes a non-partisan doctor. These situations lead to climaxes of varying drama. Each of the stories also comes with a different romantic interest. A childhood sweetheart, a friend's sister and a fellow doctor all draw Witek's affections. The film may require backtracking to recall how some other characters figured in the preceding realities. The idea of one's life path being switched in a random moment is fascinating, but "Blind Chance" has two chief problems. First, Witek has a rather vague, flavorless personality. Second, the film's pacing seems uneven because the three stories are not given equal emphasis (the segments run roughly 50, 35 and 20 minutes). A more minor glitch: A crucial special effect is horribly executed, no doubt due to budget limitations. "Blind Chance" is not on the level of more famous Kieslowski works such as "The Double Life of Veronique" and "Red," but its polished cinematography and studied introspection are typically compelling. And hey, there's an exciting "Easter egg" of sorts if you happen to be a juggling fan.
BLIND CHANCE is a daring, highly conceptual film by Polish director Kryzstof Kieslowski. It's one of those movies that you can study and analyze to your heart's content, as there are subtleties and undertones throughout the film. The storyline is that as Witek, a young Polish medical student, rushes to catch the last train to Warsaw, his future will be shaped by his catching or missing the train. In one, he becomes a Communist Party member, in the other a Christian, and in the last a devoted doctor and father. A fascinating, controversial film that shouldn't be missed, Kieslowski's BLIND CHANCE is a masterpiece.
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