At prime time, Jakub Piątek gets to the point very quickly. He does not hesitate for a moment, and throws us straight into the path of his film and into the paranoia at the turn of the century.
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Jakub Piątek’s Complete First Starters have something to grab the viewer’s throat. Here Sebastian, with a pistol in his hand, breaks into the TV studio while recording and takes hostage of presenter Mira and bodyguard Grzegorz. He has one demand. I want to do a live performance so he prepared a piece of paper with the entire speech. The publisher tries to deceive him, then negotiators help her. The feeling of megalomania and mistrust became more and more. The atmosphere is not emptied even once. Instead, it ends up in a cycle of insecurity and madness. The only question is why? In the name of what?
Friday leads us by the nose all the time.
We are waiting for what his hero will say. Why did he decide to take such a desperate step. But this takes a back seat. The prime time is best when the director constructs a historical context. The events take place on New Year’s Eve 1999 and on the television studio screens we can see the message of the then president, Alexander Kwasniewski, or the presenters announcing the next stars of the concert. There is also a poll with young people, through which we will discover that they intend to go to Germany as soon as the opportunity arises. Thanks to these short entries that have nothing to do with the main event, the creators are able to recreate the atmosphere of those times. It is a distinct feeling of despair, a grim mood related to the advent of the new millennium and fear of an expected end.
Although the event takes place at a specific historical moment, Piątek makes his story as contemporary as possible. The movie makes a picture of that era, with all the moods that surrounded society back then, but the director does everything to let us know that this is a current story today as well. For example, talking on the phone with a mysterious David references the protagonist’s homosexuality, while noting the ongoing rhetoric about LGBT. This is how the imagination of rebellion and rebellion is born, to which a person is pushed into a moment of pursuit. It can be seen even in the conversation between the protagonist and his father, when both of them have moved away. In this way, the plot becomes completely universal, and even transparent. Over time, the stifling atmosphere in the action thriller gives way to an embarrassing psychological drama.
The movie is based on facts and in this case it is not about a reconstruction of a specific event.
As in interviews (for example HereThe creators have already confirmed that similar break-ins of television stations occurred at the turn of the century in many countries around the world, including Poland. In the Polish case, they were even more fascinated by the fact that even today he does not know what despair means. They considered it a “wonderful dramatic subject”. Unfortunately, they have come under pressure from their own ambitions. From the intentions of the main character, they make an ordinary MacGuffin. It fuels the action, but is by no means necessary for it. And while the atmosphere keeps the viewers in front of the screen, the lack of emotional harassment rejects it.
We do not know the causes of the hero’s behavior and it is impossible to identify with him. We can treat Sebastian like an empty vase in which we must pour meanings that are appropriate for us. This would definitely be possible with the Coen brothers. Often they presented characters without a clear background, which, through interaction with others, allowed viewers to set an appropriate narrative for them. However, Piątek is not adept at handling drama. Based on the suggestions and hints, it doesn’t give us much reason to sympathize with any of the heroes. The engagement and interest shown at the beginning of the film disappears with each scene that does not even give us a vague answer to the questions that bother us. This awaits the implementation of judo in an inept manner. The psychological photo snippets thrown at us are not enough here to build a captivating story around them. As a result, the film turned out to be inconsistent and devoid of emotional charge.
There are scenes leading the viewer into an armchair.
It is impossible to close your eyes to Sebastian’s face when, with tears streaming down his eyes, he tries to utter a seemingly simple sentence that appears to be a memory of childhood trauma to him. Bartosz Bielenia, in the lead role, makes a real show of his skills, when he stands out for his hero during several close-up shots. Nevertheless, one would like his efforts not to be lost and not to disappear under the pretense of the text. One would like to get to know him a little better. Additionally, you might want the director to come up with some ideas by hitting the throttle rather than stopping before it looks like he has something exciting to say. The ghost of the larger, more suspenseful story hovers over the motifs and later characters. Obviously, every hero, negotiator, negotiator, cop, publisher, presenter, security guard, literally all have something in their soul and never reveal anything. We are waiting for some kind of explosion. Instead, we have disappointments. With the end of the examination, there is only a feeling of emptiness due to the wasted potential.
Prime Time turns out to be a disproportionate movie in nearly every respect. Seeds of Excellence never skip pretensions, so while the show is super fun, the production looks flawed and patchy. Watching is always accompanied by the feeling that something is missing, and the essence of the story is hidden in what has not been said. Consequently, a few elements are missing to form a complete cohesive unit from the puzzle pieces we are given. For this reason, we get medium work, with a shy visual flair and artistic flair. Piątkowi might do a lot better with the second full length, because you can see it has something to say, but it’s still looking for a language to do it right.
You can watch “Prime Time” on the platform Netflix.
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