Friday 17 April 2015

"Stones for the Rampart: Battle of Warsaw" (Guardian 17/04/15)

Stones for the Rampart: Battle for Warsaw ***
Dir: Robert Glinski. With: Tomasz Zietek, Marcel Sabat, Kamil Szeptycki, Magdalena Kolesnik. 111 mins. Cert: 15

The global repository of WW2 stories continues to replenish itself, and Polish director Robert Glinski’s new drama, charging around after a pair of youthful saboteurs undermining the German occupation, initially appears one of the more sexed-up. Yet this adaptation of Aleksander Kaminski’s on-the-spot 1943 novel uses the strained friendship between headstrong Janek (Tomasz Zietek) and practical Tadeusz (Marcel Sabat), and the latter’s fraught relationship with the group’s handlers, to work up questioning perspectives on the act of sabotage; for all the flashy thrills and spills initiated by what’s effectively a paramilitary scout troop, Glinski presents wartime heroism as a shifting, complex concept. That English-language title feels grandiose for what boils down to a contained, vaguely pulpy rescue-and-revenge mission, but – thanks in part to Krzysztof Szpetmanski’s razor-sharp cutting – it remains a sleek and watchable history, possessed of a bristling energy lacking in, say, Suite Française or Woman in Gold
Stones for the Rampart: Battle for Warsaw opens in selected cinemas from today.

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