LIFF27 - Lasting - Cinema Review

'Where the first half might be equal measures sweet and then, eventually, somewhat dramatic, there's never any fruits at the end of that labour. After half an hour of building up a nice Romance, Borcuch abandons it'

Jacek Borcuch's Lasting has an extremely promising first third, before things fall away somewhat un-spectacularly in the film's second half.

Meeting on a holiday job in Spain, Michal (Jakub Gierszal) and Karina (Magdalena Berus) enjoy a sweet Summer romance, before the former heads off back to Poland. Just before he is due to leave however, an altercation with a local looks as though it might have lasting implications for both youngsters.

Only, the altercation actually has no implications for either of them, which is partly why Lasting feels like such an empty vessel. Where the first half might be equal measures sweet and then, eventually, somewhat dramatic, there's never any fruits at the end of that labour. After half an hour of building up a nice Romance, Borcuch abandons it in favour of pursuing something else, which his film then never turns into.

Instead, we enter a bit of a gloomy narrative, where Michal and Karina have to overcome more everyday problems, which seem, frankly, a little dull in comparison to the setup of the first third. It seems very odd to focus on these areas, when Borcuch had apparently spent the time setting up something much more thrilling. If he hadn't bothered with the film's Significant Event then there could well have been a decent Drama of a different kind here.

Any interest that is left in the second half then is largely down to Borcuch's decision to focus on Karina, having initially leaned towards Michal. The story arc that Borcuch crafts in his writing is definitely one that leans towards his female lead, but a lesser director would stick to the tried and tested route of following the male protagonist. Bravo to this one for not, although ultimately his narrative isn't strong enough to sustain the film, no matter which way it goes.




The 27th Leeds International Film Festival (LIFF) took place from the 6th-21st November at cinemas around the city, including Hyde Park Picture House and Leeds Town Hall. More information is available via the official LIFF website.


By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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