Nathanael Reyes’s review published on Letterboxd:
My sister, brother and myself decided to hold an impromptu movie riff and the movie we chose was the Polish film 365 Days.
And...on behalf of Poland I apologize for this thing.
The acting to start off is largely mediocre at best. Anna Maria Sieklucka is okay I guess as Laura, mainly in the scenes where she stands up for herself but it feels like she’s directionless and a lot of her line delivery feels flat. Not to be outdone, Michele Morrone is the worlds most disturbing Italian gangster as Massimo. His line delivery is flat as a pancake, seemingly relishing in dull surprise and in virtually every scene he acts like a monstrous sexual predator who constantly harasses and threatens Laura and talks like he’s about to strangle someone to death. The two have no chemistry or sexual tension and it plays out like the least-self aware horror film. Most of the other actors are just as bad and disappear into the background with the exception of three: Magdalena Lamparska as Laura’s friend Olga who feels like a much-needed voice of reason (not to mention sexier), Bronislaw Wroclawski as Massimo’s authoritative second in command Mario who spends the whole movie relaxed while also being one of the few sane people and Otar Saralidze as Domenico who is actually nice to her and honestly should have ended up with her or Olga.
Prepare yourselves folks, we’re heading into the technicals.
Directors Tomasz Mandes and Barbara Bialowas do an absolutely terrible job behind the camera. The camera seems to have a phobia of keeping still because it never, and I mean never, stops moving, always weaving around people in awkward ways, doing complete circle-rounds and I think there’s only about three minutes worth where it stays completely still. There’s no life to the direction either as it doesn’t feel like this was directing to much as slapped together. At times it can be a headache to watch and that’s not even getting into the sex yet.
The screenplay by Tomasz Klimala (with some additional material by Bialowas, Mandes and original novel writer Blanka Lipsinska) is wretched with some of the worst dialogue I’ve heard in a long time (seriously stop calling her baby girl you creepy fuck!). Almost every line feels like stilted, placeholder dialogue or like something out of a pornographic film. It’s not only delivered badly but also just awful to hear in the first place. Even the best actors in the world couldn’t save this dialogue or for that matter the pacing of this film. The film feels like it has no concrete story and we’re just seeing random events play out with only the vaguest of connections, with the plot moving slowly and rather poorly.
The cinematography by Bartek Cierlica is rather bland. Outside of maybe some nice shots of the Italian landscape, there’s a weird over reliance on light shafts for some inexplicable reason and the film overall has an oddly CW aesthetic to it’s colors, with no real shadows or even any depth of field. The musical score is almost non-exist and boring with a truly awful pop soundtrack to boot and finally the editing by Marcin Drewnowski is unacceptably bad. There’s one too many abrupt cuts and awkward scene jumps not to mention all of it’s disorientating to watch.
And now it’s time to talk about the sex. Look we’ve all read smut at least once in our lives let’s not lie to ourselves. But geez Louise I felt dirty watching this movie. If this was supposed to be erotic it failed because it’s some of the most un-sexy sex I’ve ever seen, with the nudity feeling like badly filmed porn with waaay too many blowjob scenes, everything shot from uncomfortable, bad angles and like the movie is over-compensating. And the entire film tries to paint the idea of Stockholm syndrome, forcing yourself on a woman or abuse as sexy which is just disgusting all on it’s own. Literally every scene with Laura and Massimo feels like a rape scene or the beginning of one. I hate to use the word toxic because it’s been so overused and is often used by social justice cancel culture but this movie really does feel toxic.
And yet despite all of that....the film made for a shockingly hilarious riff. Maybe it was because it was the best way to vent my disgust but my siblings and I took great pleasure (not the kind of this movie) tearing this monstrosity to pieces.
To wrap up, 365 Days might easily be one of the worst films I’ve ever seen, with incredibly disturbing subtext and overtones, bad acting, horrible dialogue with a directionless story and sexual content that makes you long for shower or in need of an adult. And yet this film is so badly produced, overly dirty and blandly acted it makes for a helluva great riff if you work hard enough.
1/12 stars out of 5. If I could rate it any lower I would, despite some joker fodder.
Nat is out! Peace!