*sighs heavily* This movie makes me sad. Not because it was a sad story (which it was) but because I had such high hopes (like Mount Everest high) and they were all dashed to pieces.
When I first saw the trailer for Cold War, I was floored. That trailer was, and still is, one of the most breathtaking pieces of cinema I have ever seen. The beautiful black and white cinematography set to Chopin’s Nocturne in E Minor did things to my heart that I will not even attempt to explain. It told a melancholy but hopeful story.
A story quite different than that of the actual film.
The movie, which I finally watched after three months of waiting, was not only inappropriate, but it had such a worldly, selfish conclusion that I couldn’t say I liked it.
I will say that the cinematography was astounding. The crystal clear, melancholy black and white made Cold War more colorful than color would have. It really added to the stark Cold War era feel.
The music was also lovely – very classy and wistful and ethereal.
But that’s about all this movie had going for it.
The love story was one of those “we-love-eachother-and-nobody-else-matters-in-the-whole-world-and-therefore-everything-we-do-to-be-together-is-justified” sort of stories. (Which honestly made it a more artistic The Notebook type film – and we all know I have no patience for such rubbish.)
This mindset of the couple, Zula and Wiktor, made their romance often seem selfish and that took away from all the passion and tenderness of their love. Because there were parts of their romance that were absolutely rapturous and golden. But most of their actions were so cold and inconsiderate of others that the goodness of their love was overridden.
They were cowardly, immensely so. There’s nothing brave about leaving people who count on you, nothing brave about abandoning your country for an easy way out.
If there had been more character development, then perhaps I could’ve understood their actions better, but there wasn’t.
I read one review that said Zula and Wiktor’s determination was admirable, and it would have been, had they not taken advantage of so many people to be together. (Not to mention that ending…ugh.)
Yes, when in love it seems as if no one else in the world matters, but while one can feel that way one cannot live that way. It simply isn’t right because there are other people in the world and one has to care for them too.
I really did feel the love story could have worked. It could have. But their choices – specifically marrying other people in order to get to each other – ruined the beauty of it. I did enjoy that the film jumped ahead years at a time and we were left to guess at all that happened in-between, that was a nice touch. It genuinely was exquisite from an art perspective.
The Communist era setting was ill-used though. It could’ve added so much, so much, depth to the story and the tragedy of the time period. But the terror of Communism seemed only a backdrop to the film even though it motivated some of the characters’ actions. The scene where Zula visits Wiktor in prison would’ve been a terrific moment to explore the depravity of the era, but it didn’t. We really didn’t see Wiktor’s suffering.
Thus the Communist era was used only as an obstacle for the couple’s love and not portrayed as something genuinely frightful.
All that said, Cold War had excellent potential. Both aesthetically and plot wise. The time period could have added to the development of the story very poignantly. So while the movie was beautifully artistic, the message and history fell flat. Very flat.
(I don’t recommend this movie, if you are still interested. While R movies are not necessarily something you shouldn’t watch, this movie had some very sexual moments and multiple uses of the “F” word. Had the story been redeeming, these could have been forgiven. But it wasn’t there isn’t really a reason to expose yourself to that in this instance. In my opinion.)