The Constant Factor

1980 [POLISH]

Drama

3
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 931

poland

Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
August 09, 2022 at 11:24 PM

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
833.47 MB
1280*720
Polish 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 30 min
P/S 7 / 14
1.67 GB
1920*1080
Polish 5.1
NR
24 fps
1 hr 30 min
P/S 18 / 21

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by oOgiandujaOo_and_Eddy_Merckx 8 / 10

Great example of the cinema of moral anxiety

In Chen Kaige's great movie Yellow Earth / Huang tu di (1985), a Chinese soldier reaches a remote valley in search of folk songs to record for the edification of the Red Army. At a wedding feast he discusses with his host the spectacle of a poor minstrel singing for tips. The minstrel is lonely and past finding a wife. In the culture he lives in, if you are single after 30, you remain so. So he sings a bitter song, and because of this he earns no money, despite his manifest talent, because the people want to hear happy songs.

So Krzysztof Zanussi's movie Constans, whilst excellent, probably comes off as a bitter song, one which film fans have therefore been chary of. It's the story of a young man, Witold, blessed with good looks, intelligence, a moral character, and a sense of wonder and enthusiasm, who is born into a living space, a zeitgeist, and a power structure, which degrades and humiliates him. One might say with some justification that the Second World War ended for Poland only in 1990, with the triumph of Solidarity and consequently the waning of Soviet influence. In 1980, Zanussi let loose this wail; by the following year Solidarity had formed. The Poles had had enough.

It has always mattered the most to me if a film has a ring of truth to it, and so this one does. I was brought up by people espousing a moral system that receives broad lip service, but in practical terms is almost an irrelevance, with people acting only with enlightened self-interest. I suppose with a Catholic country under a communist regime you might get similarly schizophrenia-inducing conditions for people who pay heed to principle.

As with Kieslowski, Zanussi was fascinated by fate and that comes through very clearly here. Kieslowski's movie of the following year, Blind Chance (1981) being equally as despondent. In the depths of the pessimism of Constans I was reminded of the Socratic concept of divine fatalism, the idea that good character is a divine boon and that we are the playthings of the gods. Witold's planned ascent of Himalayan peaks, is allegorical and for me harks back to the myth of Bellerophon, and his fate. Similarly none of the characters appear capable of persuasion or personality change.

Reviewed by jandesimpson 10 / 10

The greater Krzysztof

Mild SPOILER, insofar as the nature, but not the content, of the ending is alluded to.

Apart from the conscience provoking "A Short Film About Killing" I have always found Western European audiences' adulation of the Polish director, Krzysztof Kieslowski, rather excessive, all the more so when compared to the comparative neglect of Zanussi, that other, to my mind , infinitely greater Krzysztof. During the late '70's and early '80's he produced a remarkable body of work that, although dealing with rigorous intellectual concepts, perfectly balanced head with heart. In "Night Paths" he examines a contemporary generation's indifference to history; in "The Contract" he uses the stag as a metaphor for the nobility and strength that, in his view, Polish society fails to aspire to, while in "The Constant Factor" he makes use of mathematics in an attempt to shed light on the awesome possibilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This latter is a multi-layered work, on the one hand dealing with the consequencies of maintaining integrity within a corrupt employment situation and at a deeper level attempting to understand the randomness of fate that mankind is exposed to regardless of political dogmas or individual standards of morality. Witold, the main protagonist of the film, is a young man whose father, a famous mountaineer, has been killed in a climbing accident. He has one objective, to follow in his footsteps by joining a Himalayan expedition. However his failure to come to terms with the corrupt working practises of his colleagues leads to their thwarting his ambition. "The Constant Factor" is without doubt one of the most deeply pessimistic films I know. When I first saw it I could hardly believe the ghastliness of its ending. Even though I consider it to be one of the most profound masterworks of cinema I have to steel myself beforehand whenever I bring myself to sharing it with anyone, let alone seeing it by myself.

Reviewed by samxxxul 8 / 10

A Bitter Portrait

The story follows Witold (Tadeusz Bradecki) a young man who dreams of climbing the Himalayas, although his father, a climber, died in the mountains. He has been nursing both his sick mother and a deeply rooted desire to climb the Himalayas. He inherited love for the mountains from his father, and he dreams his trip as a subconscious escape from everyday life. But his dreams begin to shatter when his mother's health gets worse, he learns of the scale of corruption at his work and the situation becomes bad enough with no indication of future improvement. From that point on, Witold's own mettle is sorely put to the test - and the adversary is not one to back down easily. Throughout the film, Zanussi tells about Witold is surrounded by love, jealousy, envy, opportunism and survival and the price of focussing on his own moral integrity and freedom in a conformist and corrupt society. Symbolism in the movie also plays an important role. From what an untrained eye can see - the window cleaning to the dust and the water were the obvious metaphor to the dichotomy of life and death. It is one of the pinnacles of art, not just cinema. The way the story builds, from innocence to sin & then an almost surreal sequence toward the end of the movie, is intriguing to watch. It's never predictable, even if anyone watches the movie knowing how it would end, they wouldn't really know or believe how it goes in which characters digress into their feelings and avoid all kind of physical action. A reflection on art and life with one of the powerful ending. I highly recommend it to the fans of polish auteurs like Witold Leszczynski, Grzegorz Królikiewicz, Piotr Szulkin, Wojciech Marczewski, Juliusz Machulski, Wojciech Has and Stanislaw Rozewiczenc.

Read more IMDb reviews

2 Comments

Be the first to leave a comment