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The Collector

Polish morality tale "The Collector" spends its first half observing protagonist Lucek being a ruthless yuppie jerk, but there's hardly any pleasure to be had from watching him get comeuppance in the second part. There's little onscreen to explain why Poland should have chosen this as the submission for the foreign-language Oscar.

With: Andrzej Chyra, Kinga Preis, Malgorzata Kozuchowska, Marian Opania, Jan Frycz.

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.

The Collector


Production: A Studio Filmowe Perspektywa, Telewizja Polska, Canal Plus Poland production. (International sales: Telewizja Polska, Warsaw.) Produced by Janusz Morgenstern, Jerzy Buchwald, Dorota Oetrowska-Orlinska, Andrzej Serdiukow, Pawel Mossakowski. Directed by Feliks Falk. Screenplay, Grzegorz Loszewski.

Crew: Camera (color), Bartek Prokopowicz; editor, Krzysztof Szpetmanski; music, Bartlomiej Gliniak; production designer, Anna Wunderlich; costume designer, Malgorzata Braszka. Reviewed at Warsaw Film Festival (CentEast), Oct. 13, 2005. (Also in Polish Film Festival, Gdynia.) Running time: 93 MIN.

With: With: Andrzej Chyra, Kinga Preis, Malgorzata Kozuchowska, Marian Opania, Jan Frycz.

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