Cold War ★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

I'll never forget my father's advice on my wedding day: if you ever fall in love with a Polish singer while living in the Soviet bloc and eventually escape to Western Europe and then you find out she's putting on a performance in your town, don't go and see it, or else you strongly risk being pulled for questioning and possibly imprisoned by officials from behind the Curtain.

Cursed with a script that's so fixated on its elliptical structure it never allows us to come to know its characters in any depth, this film looks and sounds great, fusing its attempt at a sweeping romance with a more successful cursory exam of the entire scope of 20th century music, but it's crippled by the lack of believable relationships or any kind of chemistry in its central couple. By the halfway point, the impossibility of any sort of lasting peace between Zula and Wiktor is exhausting, like a long anecdote from someone who should've left a bad situation years ago but refuses to do so; and at the grim conclusion, I just found it all laughable. For the record, I thought Ida was all right, but this was a totally empty and frustratingly vapid experience for me.