Hectoring Polish morality tale “The Collector” spends its first half observing debt-collector protagonist Lucek (hot local topliner Andrzej Chyra) being a ruthless yuppie jerk, but there’s hardly any pleasure to be had from watching him get comeuppance in the second part. Perfs are solid, and tech credits pro, but there’s little onscreen to explain why Poland should have chosen this over better fare as the country’s submission for the 2005 foreign-language Oscar. Name cast should help the pic collect strong coin at home, but it’s likely to go wanting offshore.
Studly and ambitious junior collector Lucek takes unwholesome pleasure in his work. Casually ruining lives, he applies a gumshoe’s intelligence to hunting down his victims and their undeclared earnings, willing even to dig up graves to find hidden stashes of money. An encounter with an old flame (Kinga Preis) and office politics force him to see the error of his ways, but it’s too late. Helmer Falk (“Hero of the Year”) and lenser Bartek Prokopowicz try to inject a sense of immediacy by jiggling the camera around a lot.