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Kowalsky

Critic:

Jason Knight

|

Posted on:

18 Mar 2022

Film Reviews
Kowalsky
Directed by:
Emile V. Schlesser
Written by:
Emile V. Schlesser
Starring:
Josiane Peiffer, Raoul Schlechter
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A mother and her son have a disagreement regarding family assets.

 

A man (Schlechter) pays a surprise visit to his mother (Peiffer) at her home. He rarely visits her and things between them are not too good, particularly due to the fact that she holds him responsible for the downfall of the family's company. He is desperate and asks her to give him her jewels and she refuses as she is very emotionally attached to them. Her son then decides to resort to extreme measures.

 

This short film from Luxembourg is a dark comedy drama that also contains elements of thriller. The main focus is the unstable and sad relationship between the mother and her son. The two of them
have significant differences, argue and say nasty things to each other, creating a great deal of drama. There is also suspense, humour and tragedy. The screenplay includes well-written dialogue and explores themes of family values, betrayal and the importance of maintaining family legacy.

 

Both protagonists deliver great performances. Peiffer is a frail, widowed, elderly woman who is also not afraid to stand up for herself and say what is on her mind. Schlechter plays her pathetic, clumsy and cunning son and he is also the one who adds the most comedy to the story, with his slapstick actions. Generally, Peiffer is more dramatic and in some ways Schlechter provides the comic relief, however both of them have their serious moments.

 

The mise-en-scene includes expensive decorations and furniture inside the mother's home, indicating that they are wealthy. Schlesser also composed the music and the result is a score that is sinister, tense and includes wonderful violin work. The editing is well done and includes a well-executed match cut. Praise also goes to the rather creative and stylised closing credits.

 

This is a very well made short, with strong acting, an interesting plot and beautiful cinematography by Vitalijus Kiselius. It is a viewing experience that offers drama, confrontations and comedy and it is worth pursuing.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film, World Cinema