How entertaining? ★★☆☆☆
Thought provoking? ★★☆☆☆
12 March 2013
This article is a review of IN THE BEDROOM a.k.a. IN A BEDROOM.
“Let’s not say anything important, okay?” Edyta to Patryk
Not to be confused with Todd Field’s masterful IN THE BEDROOM (2001), IN THE BEDROOM (2012, aka W SYPIALNI) is about a middle-aged woman, separated from her husband and son for unknown reasons, making her way in a Polish city. She speaks to her spouse twice briefly on the phone. He wants her to go back. Instead she has moved away and quickly runs out of money.
Opening on sounds of jungle animals, Edyta (Katarzyna Herman) then strips in front of a hotel mirror. Going to supermarkets to sneakily eat food, avoiding paying and detection, she appears to have hardly anything. Did she run out of fear? The telephone conversations suggest otherwise. Perhaps Edyta has had a mid-life crisis; though what is she regretting and looking for? IN THE BEDROOM aims for mystery, but misses the mark and gives us nothing. At around 70 minutes, the runtime gives away the slight material.
Seeing an advert, Edyta becomes a sort of prostitute. Evading sleeping with the men, she drugs them and leaves their homes before they wake up, stealing money and food. Does she harden quickly, or was this always the way? After being shown kindness from a struggling theatre actress and single mother, Klaudia, Edyta repays compassion in attempted larceny.
Being a tough character to read is one thing, forcing an audience to engage, IN THE BEDROOM seems to have lost a couple of reels of film. Her antics are repeated until coming into the sphere of photographer Patryk (Tomasz Tyndyk), who is deeply attracted to Edyta. This relationship doesn’t go anywhere interesting. Come on writer-director Tomasz Wasilewski give us something! At times tense, and others sexy, the filmmakers aren’t incompetent, which makes the result all the more disappointing.
Recent cinema has been tackling matriarchs and women no longer ingénues, and rightly so. Their voices have been absent in large numbers from the silver screen for far too long. The Berlin Film Festival 2013 just rewarded GLORIA and CHILD’S POSE. The former concerns a 58 year-old divorcee looking for romance and sexual fulfilment, the latter a controlling mother trying to prevent her guilty son from being imprisoned for vehicular manslaughter. IN THE BEDROOM should be given some props for at least providing the introduction to an essay that never was.