No End

1985 [POLISH]

Drama / Romance

IMDb Rating 7.5 10 4256

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 01, 2021 at 03:19 AM


Danny Webb as American
992.27 MB
Polish 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 48 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by paul2001sw-1 10 / 10

No equal

Krystoff Kieslowski is today best known for his last four films, made wholly or partly in France, which in some ways is a shame, as while these movies are not without merit, they are outshone by the massive brilliance of his earlier, Polish work. Kieslowski was, of course, the greatest visual poet of communist architecture; and there's also something magical about the way he communicates the most intense emotion behind the facade of Slavic stoicism (witness, for example, in this film, the scene where the car is taken by the police). And also there was the subtext of the political beneath the personal, never more apparent than in 'No End', set (and, courageously, made) in the aftermath of the impact of the Solidarity movement on Polish society. In the face of civil unrest, the government had declared martial law, hoping to stave off a "friendly" Russian invasion; but system had lost confidence in itself, and had already effectively negotiated its own demise by the time the collapse of the Berlin wall finally cast it into oblivion. It's in this intermediate period, where normality intermingled with fear, that 'No End' unfolds, a drama that combines moral complexity and human sympathy in equal measure.

The first words of dialgoue in this film are "I died". Billy Wilder had planned to start 'Sunset Boulevard' in a similar manner, but the suits didn't like it and that film makes less sense as a result of the changes they demanded. More recently, films like 'Truly, Madly, Deeply' and 'The Sixth Sense' have repeated one idea explored in 'No End', that of the ongoing relationship between the living and the dead. But whereas both of those films are weighted down by obvious sentimentality, the opening speech in 'No End' is simple, disturbing, painfully real and yet leads naturally into something far more than a ghost story, a tale in which there is no right and wrong, but in which the mixed motives of the characters only illuminate their humanity.

Kieslowski is famous for his collaboration with Zbigniew Priesner, who wrote wonderful scores for this film (and all it's successors); but watching it, one is also struck by how well he used silence. He also had a talent for finding the most wonderfully expressive faces: the lawyer (Aleksander Bardini), the wife (Grazyna Szapolowska) and the client (Artus Barcis) all went on to appear in his 'Dekalog'. It's impossible to imagine a better actor than Bardini for his role; while Szapolowska appears more beautiful than any Hollywood starlet precisely because of the complete lack of glamour with which she is shot; her portrayal of a woman holding things together in the face of an unconquerable grief is wonderful and immensely sad.

There are so many moments of brilliance in this film, almost of all them unflaunted; the moment where the woman's son interrupts her phone call; the tiny flinch induced when a door closes behind her, the way that light floods a previously darkened room; the speech of introduction uttered by the lawyer; Kieslowski constantly finds the subtlest of ways to shed light on his subjects. This is a ten star film, made by a master, grounded in its era but which speaks of so much more. Now released on DVD, it has to be seen.

Reviewed by ellkew 8 / 10

Superb performances as usual

Mesmerising, if only for the performance by Grazyna Szapolowska as the widow who moves through the film and ignites every scene. Beautiful and tragic at once she emanates power over the audience and one cannot turn away. I had not realised how much this film must have influenced some established mainstream films that we assume to be original. Obviously many of them owe a great debt to this story. Told unflinchingly by Kieslowski in a unshowy manner it still demonstrates moments of brilliant insights into the human condition. The pain and torture we must endure after such heartache runs through the the heart of this film. I particularly liked the little moments as always, such as the glass slipping through her fingers, the dog trying to get in the car, the dirt on her hands from the bumper whilst witnessing the accident, the hypnotherapy session where she sees him. All simple and yet so elegant. No hammering it through to the audience with big signposting saying 'Remember this for later!'. Why don't more films treat the audience with a tiny bit more intelligence or is the majority of film going to assume we are all thick. And just because a film is mainstream doesn't mean it has to be low brow. Godfather, Deer Hunter, French Connection? Very strong films? If you see this also see Amator.

Reviewed by ilpohirvonen 9 / 10

A Pessimistic Picture of Polish Reality

The films by Krzysztof Kieslowski can be separated into two parts; the Polish films and the international films. The Polish films were concrete and filled with the mirthless Polish reality. The international films (the last four) were much more absurd, ethereal and characterized with aesthetic styling. In 1985 Kieslowski was already very appreciated in the European art-house cinema due to his international breakthrough, Camera Buff in 1979. No End was his first film with the screenwriter Krzysztof Piesiewicz and composer Zbigniew Presiner, with whom he continued working in all of his later film.

Poland is under martial law and Solidarity is banned. A woman's (Ula) husband suddenly dies, who was a lawyer of an opposition activist. After his death Ula realizes how much he meant to her and begins to love him more and more. The activist needs another lawyer and Ula recommends an older more experienced lawyer, who has a much more calm approach. While the trial goes on Ula tries to get rid of the ghost of her husband. She tries hypnosis, sex and oblivion - but in the end is forced to commit a suicide - the only way out.

A very overwhelming thing in No End is the fact that Ula must commit a suicide. There is no other way out of the system, there is no end for the yearning of love and peace. Killing herself and leaving her young boy alone is the only way for her to live, to have peace and to get rid of the ghost. The last shot where she walks among her husband is very paradoxical.

Krzysztof Kieslowski says in his interview book, Kieslowski on Kieslowski that it was very hard to get No End on the screens. WFD (The Government's documentary film office), which usually allowed and financed the films in Poland, wasn't interested. It didn't want a film to show Poland giving false sentences under martial law. After Kieslowski got the production rolling with Piesiewicz WFD didn't want to pay the salaries for the cast & crew. Kieslowski had to go there himself to demand them to pay for their work - at the same he, of course, denied to take money for himself. When the film finally was ready the Government, the church and the critics hated it and it was very hard to see. But the audience, the people who actually saw it loved it. They said that it was the best description anyone had made about the martial law in Poland.

Watching No End today is very interesting and I think it has gained more value in the course of time. It's an incredibly realistic description of its time and it shows how sad things were back then. "During the martial law we all weighed our heads. And my generation never raised its head back up." Krzysztof Kieslowski. Even that I am familiar with kieslowskian pessimism and it can be seen in all of his films, I think No End is his most pessimistic picture of the Polish reality. The whole movie and especially the ending shows us that there is no hope and No End for all this.

Kieslowski said that the biggest flaw of No End was that it had three separate parts and it didn't work as an entirety. The political part, where the activist tries to choose whether to fight or fall. The emotional part, where the woman falls in love with a dead man and finally the metaphysical part, where the dead man takes contact with the living. I think all of these different things work brilliantly and do no harm on the film. Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy, which tries to explain the fundamental nature of being and to my mind in addition to this Kieslowski tried to study the true nature of love.

The acting and the cinematography of No End is very raw, brutal documentary. This incredible concreteness Kieslowski was able to achieve in Dekalog and No End was because of his long experience with documentaries, which he had made seven of. The nature of the film changed during the process; in the beginning Kieslowski intended to make a film about guilt and at sometime he was going to title the film, Happy Ending due to its final shot with the man and the woman walking together. But in the end No End is a philosophical film, a picture of reality and its time, a paradox of politics and a study of the true nature of love.

As is the film so is the title very complex and it has many purposes. I think the title works for all of the three different parts. There is No End for the martial law and oppression; the activist is unable to fight against the Government. Nor is there end for the being of man and the love of the woman. There is No End in sight.

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