Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ida (2013)

Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
Writer:    Pawel Pawlikowski
Cast:       Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowska, Dawid Ogrodnik
Language: Polish

The film is set in 1960s Communist/Stalinist Poland. Anna/Ida grew up as an orphan in a catholic orphanage and is on the verge of taking her vows. She is send back to visit her aunt, her only living relative, by the mother of the convent. Her aunt, Wanda, turns out to be an alcoholic and promiscuous Jewish lawyer. Ida learns about her Jewish ancestry and her persecuted family and both of them embark on a journey to find the place where they were buried. 

The film is as much about Wanda as it is about Ida. Wanda is saddened by Ida's future of being a nun and prompts her to enjoy the life a bit first before taking her vows, since only then she would know what she is sacrificing. It is Wanda who is more affected by their journey with Ida being more bemused by it. When Ida gets back to the convent there is a hint that she is confused by her own sexuality. If you put some significance to that scene then the ending becomes even more ambiguous than it really seems. 

There have been many films with Holocaust as background and as Kate Winslet sarcastically puts in the 'Extras' episode, it is a sure shot way to win an academy award, which she went on to win for her role in 'The Reader'. Ida is another holocaust based film but it is not central to the story. It has been very well received by critics and not as much by the general audience if one goes by the IMDB rating. That might be possibly due to the ambiguous nature of it and I thought it was a great watch.

Rating: 4/5