Dawid Ogrodnik mesmerizes (as always) in his role as Mateusz, who suffers from cerebral palsy. Powerful emotions guaranteed!
Simple and powerful
Chce się żyć (English Life feels good) is a Polish movie from 2013 directed by Maciej Pieprzyca. I titled it as simple and powerful, because you can describe the movie in one sentence: biography of Mateusz, who suffers from cerebral palsy and tries to prove that he’s also a normal human being. Simple, right? But so powerful! Already the illness itself: its symptoms, showing mental deficiency and suffering of the family while they try to live as if the illness wasn’t a big burden, all of this is enough to make an unforgettable movie. And imagine that all these scenes are filled with emotions, which almost break your heart. We feel every moment Mateusz suffers, every moment his mother fights with the others to accept her son, each moment when we see people who suffer from similar illnesses and crosses their paths with Mateusz.
Worth to mention isn’t only Dawid Ogrodnik but also Kamil Tkacz, as young Mateusz. You can watch Dawid Ogrodnik among others in Twarz (check my post from 23. November) and he has some other signifacnt roles, which I hope to describe on this blog as well! In fact his role in Chce się żyć! was the beginning of his promising career as one of the most talented Polish actors of his generation. But, as I mentioned before, it’s also Kamil Tkacz who deserves to be admired for his tremendous role as young Mateusz. He was only 12 years old, when he took this role and his acting couldn’t have been better or more believable.
There was small controversy around the movie, as one of the Polish gossip magazines accused director of using the experience of a real person, Przemysław. According to the magazine, filmmakers got inspired by Przemysław’s real story to make a movie and pay him only a little for his memories. Przemysław’s mother argued, that the director promised also to buy him a new computer and didn’t fulfill his promise. The director on the other hand claimed, that the story itself wasn’t based only on one real person and he was collecting the material for a screenplay from different sources. Przemysław wasn’t invited to the movie premiere, according to the director, as he found about it, he gave him his own invitation. The mother denied… And so and so on… As the accusations came after the movie was released and once it occured to be a box office hit, the truth lies probably somewhere in between. Money changes people.
If you read other movie descriptions on my blog you”ll notice, that many of them refers to the communism time. And it was also the case of this story: references to Solidarność movement or showing family gathered around their first phone (because it was so hard to get one and once it was installed, it was really the event) or opening a package from West Germany with such delicacies like coconut. There’s even a small hint for you, as the movie shows small Polish secret: do you know our famous sour cucumbers? Well, we use the water, in which the cucumbers are made, as remedy for a hangover. And this movie was the first one, which not only showed drinking vodka (yes, again…) but also the remedy for the day after (yes, because we “don’t know the limits”… 😉 ).
If you manage to watch it…
… until the end, probably you will understand my problem: what could I write more about it? What can you write more about such movie, which in his acting and plot is powerful enough to “survive” without any additional comments or critic? It reminded my really first goal which motivated me to create a blog about movies: movies evoke emotions and we should just give in to them. Some movies can do it better than the others and the ones which succeed, well, do they need critics, opinions or discussions? Chce się żyć is one of them, it doesn’t need any additional comment, apart from the one, which I gave above. This is why today’s post will be shorter, than the previous ones and will finish with new promise: to write more about the art of enjoying movies itself. This is why I created two new categories: movie lists and cinephile thoughts will change into movie culture. I feel, that this way corresponds better to the initial idea: talking about the emotions, which movies transmit.
If you live in Germany, you’re quite lucky as the movie was released here under the title In meinem Kopf ein Universum and you can currently stream it online. Bu the way, I’m not a huge fan of this title but I’m definitely happy that it was distributed in Germany! For English speaking movie fans: you can find the English version on DVD. And prepare a piece of paper as once the movie is over, you definitely will want to write down all the things in your life you should be thankful for!