Hmmmmm, I don’t mind a bit of nihilism every now and again. And anything that challenges me is welcome, if done right. So I was a bit disappointed by the time Hardkor Disko ended. As much as I hate to admit it, I may have just missed something that others have found in the movie. I still liked the film, but I didn’t love it.
Marcin Kowalczyk plays a young man (named Marcin, funnily enough) who wants to kill a couple, for reasons unknown. When he arrives at their address he ends up meeting their daughter (Ola, played by Jasmina Polak) instead. He heads out for the night, continues to keep an eye on Ola, insinuates himself into her party plans, and eventually makes a connection with her that allows him to ingratiate himself with her parents the next day. None of the fun, however, detracts him from his initial plan.
Directed by Krzysztof Skonieczny, who also co-wrote the script, with Robert Bolesto, there’s quite a bit to admire in Hardkor Disko, not least a fantastic repeated shot that tracks part of a journey repeated by different vehicles. The script is sparse, but effective. Marcin is, after all, a man of action so there’s plenty to take in visually anyway, including individual shot compositions and some juxtaposed footage that sometimes add a sense of real awkwardness and discomfort.
Kowalczyk is very good in the main role, always able to behave himself well enough in between his planned antisocial moments, while never setting up an unbelievable charm offensive. He’s a standard, slightly reserved, young man. Who carries around a big knife. Polak gets to be a bit louder and wilder, but she’s just fine in her role, and goes that extra yard or two during her final scenes. Janusz Chabior and Agnieszka Wosinska both do well as, respectively, Ola’s father and mother, but it’s a shame that the latter is allowed to make a major decision that feels a bit out of the blue. Okay, it’s not completely outwith the realm of possibility. It’s just a bit rushed, and clumsily handled.
Personally, I don’t think Hardkor Disko is deserving of some of the praise I have heard given to it. Mind you, that could just be me. Maybe I just didn’t get it. Maybe it just caught me on an off day. Those looking for some challenging, sometimes disturbing, entertainment should certainly give it a watch and see how they react to it. I may even revisit it myself at some point. I just won’t be putting it down as a top priority.
DIRECTOR: KRZYSZTOF SKONIECZNY
WRITER: KRZYSZTOF SKONIECZNY, ROBERT BOLESTO
STARS: MARCIN KOWALCZYK, JASMINA POLAK, AGNIESZKA WOSINSKA, JANUSZ CHABIOR
RUNTIME: 87 MINS APPROX