Although strikingly shot using a sickly, greenish and desaturated palette, and featuring a strong turn by Polish star Andrzej Chyra, psychological thriller "Palimpsest" amounts to rather less than the sum of its parts. Third pic by Konrad Niewolski reps further evidence of the helmer's taste for brooding, downbeat drama, but this has considerably less urgency than his second, prison-set pic "Symmetry."

Although strikingly shot using a sickly, greenish and desaturated palette, and featuring a strong turn by Polish star Andrzej Chyra, psychological thriller “Palimpsest” amounts to rather less than the sum of its parts. Third pic by Konrad Niewolski reps further evidence of the helmer’s taste for brooding, downbeat drama, but this has considerably less urgency than his second, prison-set pic “Symmetry.” Traces of “Palimpsest” will hardly be visible much beyond the fest circuit and Poland’s borders.

Police detective Marek (Chyra) is determined to get to the bottom of the sudden fatal defenestration of his colleague: did he jump or was he pushed? His investigations bring him into contact with a femme fatale (ice blonde Magdalena Cielecka), a voyeur who may know more than he lets on (Arkadiusz Bazak), and the inhabitants of an eerily familiar mental asylum. Last act turns everything on its head, but in such a way that will seem eerily familiar to anyone who’s seen “The Usual Suspects,” “Shock Corridor” and half a dozen episodes of the “The Twilight Zone.” Score by Bartlomiej Gliniak proves annoying in underlining every ominous clue, but otherwise, tech package is fine.

Palimpsest

Poland

Production

An Studio Filmowe Zebra, in association TVP SA, Canal Plus, with support APF. (International sales: Zebra Film Production, Warsaw.) Produced by Juliusz Machulski. Executive producer, Wojciech Danowski. Directed by Konrad Niewolski. Screenplay, Igor Breijdygant.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Arkadiusz Tomiak; editor, Jaroslaw Pietraszek; music, Bartlomiej Gliniak; production designer, Monika Sajko-Gradowska; costume designer, Pawel Grabarczyk. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Contemporary World Cinema), Sept.8, 2006. Running time: 86 MIN.

With

With Andrzej Chyra, Magdalena Cielecka, Robert Gonera, Adam Ferency, Henryk Talar, Arkadiusz Bazak, Grzegorz Warchol.
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