Sunday, 12 October 2014

Walesa: Man of Hope Pre-Release Review

Polish With English Subtitles

Review By
Patrick Scattergood

Written By
Janusz Glowacki

Directed By
Andrzej Wajda

An Akson Studio, Canal+ Polska, Telewizja Polska Film

Biography, Drama


Robert Wieckiewicz as Lech Walesa, Agent Bolek
Agnieszka Grochowska as Danuta Walesa
Iwona Bielska as Ilona
Zbigniew Zamachowski as Nawislak
Maria Rosaria Omaggio as Oriana Fallaci
Ewa Kolasinska as Pracownica Stoczni
Miroslaw Baka as Klemens Gniech, Dyrektor Stoczni

Year Released
2013 / 2014



From the legendary Academy Award nominated director Andrzej Wajd- a leader of the unofficial Polish Film School, comes a natural companion to his previous landmark films Man Of Marble and Man of Iron. 

Walesa: Man Of Hope is a depiction of the Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of Poland's Solidarity movement Lech Walesa, focusing on the events in the 1970’s that led to the country’s peaceful revolution. Lech is a well-known figure throughout Europe, as he is credited with sparking the domino collapse of Communism across Eastern Europe. 

Walesa: Man Of Hope has already wowed critics and audiences alike, noted by Toronto Film Festival labelling it a ‘breakout title!’


I love seeing movies about influential and sometimes even infamous people throughout history.  The idea that someone can look and research a person and their life in order to make it in to a book or movie has always interested because of the sheer subjective nature of doing so.  With that in mind, when I was offered a chance to watch and review this one I jumped at the chance especially when I saw just who had directed this offering.

With that in mind, the expectations for this movie were very high.  With a director such as Andrzej Wajda, you go in to a movie with the idea that this is going to be gripping, emotional and touching but does this one hit all the marks?

Well, yes and no.

On the plus side, the performances are utterly mesmerizing.  The star of the movie for me was, by far, Robert Wieckiewicz as Walesa himself.  It's true that some may say that he isn't as charismatic as his real life counterpart but I personally feel that he really gave the part an emotional but strong feel yet staying as faithful as possible to the real life led by Walesa.

Writing and directing wise, they do a good job of telling Walesa's sometimes controversial story but there were a couple of times in the movie that I felt that they glossed over some moments in his life and that's a shame because they seemed to be some of the most interesting parts of the movie.

Having read up on Walesa, the movie does stay quite faithful to his life.  It's true that some of the scenes seemed a bit too dramatized but that's what you get with a movie really.  That said they do a fine job of putting Walesa across as someone that isn't perfect and did make mistakes but then went on to try to redeem himself.

All in all, I'm not sure why but I did feel something was missing from the movie itself but that said, this is still an absolutely gripping, touching and well acted movie and one that is well worth checking out.

Movie 7.5/10

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