Blind Chance (Przypadek) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Blind Chance (Przypadek) Reviews

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May 21, 2016
How chance could change someone's life
October 1, 2015
This is a very very good film. Here, Mr. Kislowski managed to show the life of an ordinary man who lives in a very troubled time. The film in fact has three shorter stories, each has the same beginning and then we see the possible outcomes of each. Witek Dlugosz, a medical student, is running after the train to Warsaw, trying to catch it. In the first variant, he catches it, comes to Warsaw and suddenly becomes involved in the political turmoil of the 1981's Polish strikes and anti-Communist movements. Seems like Witek doesn't understand fully what he does, anyway, he shows real courage when saving the hostages from the mental institute. He becomes somewhat of the ruling Party's darling, so when his friends are arrested, he is untouchable and retains his freedom. The 1st story ends with Witek's fit of fury at the airport, just before the flight to Paris. The 2nd variant shows Witek becoming one of those protesters, so he is in the middle of the struggle, but his sudden love affair miraculously saves him from the arrest, but however pays him his status in the eyes of his companions. The 3rs film shows Witek as a prominent doctor, he is well-known and respectable, but when he starts his flight to Paris, the plane explodes. All in all, the film is a great work, it does show every minute of common people's lives, their fears and pain, their small joys and tragedies. Young Boguslaw Linda, who plays Witek, is a superb actor, his delivery is smooth and excellent. Highly recommended for all those who like films not about politics but about common people...
Robert B.
Super Reviewer
September 28, 2015
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.
September 21, 2015
Blind Chance is a movie that happens at you; whenever you start to feel comfortable with how everything is going and who everyone is it will quickly change up on you twisting your feelings for the main character. The base idea is about different outcomes from a single moment in someone's life. This is a very, very good film that I think that everyone needs to witness and this is not an uncommon feeling given the director being Kieslowski who seemed to create only the highest quality films.
August 23, 2015
Propably one of the greatest screeplays ever written.
July 8, 2015
I have a confession to make before this review: I love Krzystof Kieslowski. Within each of his bleak, pessimistic pictures is a glimmer of something incredibly unusual, almost magic, and that is the magic which leaves you intrigued after all of his features. Even in the grimmest moments of his later French works, especially in the case of Three Colours White when the protagonist's ex-wife calls to make sure he knows "how a real man makes me sound", there is a journey of changing one's identity entirely and rejuvenation in a bizarre, reverse Bourne type way. Blind Chance is no different: the story of one young man's inconsequential moment to catch a train which, as chance would have it, is the moment that changes everything.

Indeed there is something youthful and rebellious about Kieslowski himself here as well as Boguslaw Linda's Witek. The wonderfully edited opening montage of key details from Witek's life seem completely unimportant to the narrative, but an everyday occurrence of almost missing the train is followed with intense detail, the camera panning the ripple effect of a coin dropping from a pocket across the floor to a beggar. Every sly movement here will feel like an amateurish step towards the same strokes which are done more masterfully in The Decalogue or Kieslowski's magnum opus, the Three Colours trilogy, but if you are unfamiliar with those works this will feel nuanced. Certainly whilst this is not Kieslowski's debut feature, it certainly feels not completely accomplished: filmed in 1981 but censored by the government for 6 years from release, the film was made before Kieslowski experimented with parallel lives in The Decalogue or worked with his writing partner Krzystof Piesiewicz, Kieslowski seems to be experimenting with his narrative here far more than in any of his other works.

However, Kieslowski is certainly not experimenting with his portrayal of the various organisations and political affiliations, putting his work on a decade-long documentary career to best use. Effectively the consequences at the train station leave Witek in three parallel lives: joining the Communist party, assisting the resistance, or remaining a neutral public service doctor. Through visuals alone, Kieslowski could entice every member of the audience into any of those decisions and make them seem ethically right. The grateful old man that persuades Witek of the great opportunities which lie in the bright offices of the Politburo, the warm welcome of old friends charitably assisting the anti-Communist resistance, and the rosy cheeked medical colleague Olga, played with warmth by Monika Gozdzik, providing a neutral alternative to the choices, all of which seem the ideal direction for Witek's life to take at first glance. Of course the outcomes of those decisions are bleak in a typically Kieslowski fashion, and in keeping with his political ideologies makes death the fate for Witek's neutrality.

As a record of its time and setting, Blind Chance hardly panders to a universal audience, yet nor does the script turn into a history lesson. Kieslowski's goal is not to educate his audience about the maxims or backstories of the Party or resistance, but to show the humanity behind each of the portraits. This is a slight detriment to audiences viewing the film from thirty years or so later, that you have to give your European history of Communism a little refresher. However there is not much more needed about the culture of a different era than say understanding that it was more acceptable to display a love story involving heroic portrayals of white supremacists when D. W. Griffith made Birth of a Nation. An awareness of the Politburo's rule is fairly essential for enjoyment of the film, and if you don't believe that you can see some of the reviews on IMDb where some user critics clearly could not imagine a different culture than 'Murican.

But a fair criticism of the film is the sensation of its runtime, rather than the runtime itself. At just under two hours, Blind Chance is not a substantially long time by any means: however, narratively speaking, the film is one man's life three times over, and boy does it feel that long! This can be forgiven as a step in Kieslowski's evolution as a filmmaker, who would later split the simultaneously-set stories of The Decalogue into ten one-hour films as a television series, but it is distinctly noticeable. There are moments in the restored cut, produced in time for Martin Scorsese's Masterpieces of Polish Cinema season, which have been returned into the film to show as much footage as possible, and yet narratively speaking a good chunk could still be taken out, particularly of the languid scene at Communist authority Werner's house.

Lifetimes aside, Blind Chance is an important work, blending the parallel lives narrative of O. Henry's short story Roads of Destiny and applying it to contemporary Poland, with a political movement which lies at the heart of a young man's fate. If you have been dazzled by Kieslowski's later French works such as the Three Colours trilogy or The Double Life of Veronique, this will show the same more juvenile fingerprints. Worth a place in the history of cinema and on your DVD shelf.
February 16, 2014
Now-a-days it's easy to see this movie as a prototype for Run Lola, Run (it's separated into three sections that show different outcomes for it's protagonist), but it's intrinsic value is more catered toward Kieslowski's legacy. You can really see that the renowned Polish filmmaker was truly finding his voice in this unpolished but intriguing early entry, that actually has an admirable sense of humor that his latter and more recognized work lacked.
September 28, 2012
Blind Chance proves to be a enlightening, in-depth analysis of determinism and its basic assumptions. Without a doubt, it makes the viewer think about the possibilities of fate guiding our lives, and whether our choices are actually ours or just blind chances, on which we don't really have any influence. Witek is a medical student who just lost his father. After speaking with him for the last time, he decides to leave Lodz and move to Warsaw. Three different variations appear on screen, showing how Witek's action (catching the train, not catching it) determine his future. Very engaging, clever, profound, with a great performance by young Boguslaw Linda. Kieslowski shows his indisputable talent, by showing the psychological evaluation of a man in correspondence to broader metaphysical divagations.
May 10, 2012
The three parallel universe outcomes to one chance occurrence has been done to death, notably in Kieslowski devotee Tom Tykwer's Run Lola Run. The concept might have been quite original at the time, but Kieslowski is still too preoccupied by politics and Polish activism to make the content either enjoyable or interesting for general viewing.
May 4, 2012
A beautifully medatative film from acclaimed Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski. Witek, played by Boguslaw Linda, runs to catch a train. The film is split into three acts, each one of them a glimpse into the potential outcome of how this ambiguous, seemingly insignificant sprint may play out. The first outcome begins with him catching the train. He meets an old man who inspires him to become involved with politics and he goes through much on his journey. The second opens with him missing the train and getting into a fight. He is put on community service and a completely different series of events awaits him. The third outcome, yet another completely unrelated way for it to play out, starts with him missing the train and meeting a woman he knows. They end up marrying each other, and the most seemingly innocent, relaxed outcome of them all ensues. It is first and foremost a conceptual film, which gets you thinking for a long time after it has finished. Kieslowski has still not perfected his craft with this film, but it's a moving tale of a man at a crossroads in his life, and how the choices we make, no matter how arbitrary, can influence the rest of your life.
April 28, 2012
I do not believe in fate or predestiny and as such I loved this film because I found it to so eloquently portrays how life can take such different turns based on a change in a minor happening. In this movie the main character, Witek, runs to catch a train and then there are 3 different futures based on whether he catches the train or not. The futures intersect slightly but not in any important way though in a highly coincidental way. There is also some discussions about god and whether there is one or not and a lot about politics as Poland was under Communist rule at the time the movie was made. The film portrays the limits in a society that is not free and the consequences. It was not allowed to be aired until the late 80's thug it was filmed in the early 80's. This film was a forerunner of Run Lola Run and Sliding Doors which it inspired. I also think it inspired The Butterfly Effect. I found the film a bit slow at times but the ending made up for it for me.
March 27, 2012
criticker predicted tci: 92
Super Reviewer
½ February 21, 2012
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.
January 9, 2012
I'm a huge admirer of Kieslowski but like most of his earlier films this is just too talky to hold the attention fully, which means subtleties in the plot are likely to be missed because you're preoccupied by the subtitles, ending up confused. Which in a film that is deliberately opaque to begin with is not a good thing. The idea of three narrative strands, and how life can hinge on sometimes very minor decisions/events, is interesting and quite well executed. A better cast and more money to spend would doubtless have resulted in a better film.

The later rip-off Sliding Doors is way inferior, but Run Lola Run, on the other hand, has energy, wit, style, great pace, a charismatic leading actor and is a way superior film quite simply because it is entertaining. I realise Blind Chance doesn't set out to achieve the same, but unfortunately as a work of art it's not all that great either. While there are a few flashes of cinematic beauty it's mostly rather a grim documentary in its look and feel.
October 17, 2011
We agree or not that our whole personal universe depends on how a drunk man steps on a coin, this is a brilliant movie of a brilliant director, who became famous for his characters little, subtle and "insignificant" every day moments that draw "from inside" a great portrait of humanity. An amazing description of a communist Poland and east Europe that will never be the same... as well a fantastic depiction of humanity, in all its crackle, a depiction that will always be actual.
October 12, 2011
A film where there is a lot going on most of the time. The production is lovely and the story is told in a brilliant way. The original storytelling - the three starting points - surely hold a inspiration for the lovely "Love Lola, Run". Thoghts about faith, destiny and the many posibilities we are served in life comes to mind.

It's not the easiest film to get into, but if you watch the first fifteen minutes again directly after your first view it will make more sense and raise the entire impression of the film. At least it did for me. It demands some time the first view as well, being quite complex, but pieces is put togheter in a great way. And the ending - perfect.
September 13, 2011
Good, but not one of Kieslowski's best. A series of "what if" scenarios take place when a young man tries to run for a train departing from the depot. In one scenario he does, in another 2 he doesn't. All three have dramatic consequences. It IS interesting to see the vastly different lives he proceeds to have, but it sure would have helped to get to the gimmick sooner rather then having the first episode run for an hour before getting to the next one. I mean, that's the point of the movie right? Anyways...
½ August 27, 2011
An energetic first five minutes, then had its moments of dullness in the middle, then it caught my attention again at the end. A great concept by Kieslowski.
½ August 17, 2011
classic
so under the three scenarios all of them are actually failure
so it's to tell u, communism doesn't work huh?
when u get a belief, fate would choose for u whether u have chance to insist on your belief and act for it
yes but fate tells u u dun really have the power to control the situation
or fate tells u, what u belief is actually too ideal
no way out, so to abandon 'BELIEF"?
no matter belief in communism? belief in god? belief in yourself?
just wonder why all the three scenarios they are all heading to Paris but failed
is that.. under certain social environment, we just don't have choice and fate would lead us
coz we are inside an unchangeable crappy system
"IF" we could leave the place, it would be another story?
or still the same?
what if the boy can head to Paris in the movie? will he still find it disappointed and still lots of struggle?
½ August 9, 2011
3 different outcomes of a man after making/missing a train.
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