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The Deluge/Potop 2DVD
[DV059]
$29.95
by Richard Brzostek Date Added: Thursday 10 August, 2006
Potop (The Deluge) is the second film directed Jerzy Hoffman depicting the 17th century adventures of Henryk Sienkiewicz's trilogy of novels. This epic history captures the spirit of Polish patriotism at the time when the Swedes scourged the Polish countryside in the 1650s. The story is not entirely straightforward, but has some twists and intrigues.

Daniel Olbrychski plays Kmicic in this film, who gets himself into several touchy situations where doing what seemed right at the time created problems for himself and his reputation. He faces several ethical dilemmas as his actions led to him killing his fellows and his country. As much as he tries to make a good choice, he comes up short. He puts himself in the "line of fire" several times trying to make up for his misdeeds. To me, this was an amazing part of the film as we all try to do well, but do not always make the wisest of decisions. As this theme was repeated several times, it made an impression on me that the film is not just a war story, but has meaningful messages as well, such as our attempt to make the right choices in life.

Kmicic at first seems annoying and even boorish, but as we get to know him, he becomes a very likeable and charming character. The fact that Olbrychski convincingly makes us dislike this character then love him is a reflection of his strong acting skill. Olbrychski plays a different role in all three of Hoffman's movies of the Sienkiewicz trilogy, but this one is the largest, being the lead character.

Potop brings us close and personal into 17th century warfare. Although the battles are gruesome, I have to say the effects and costumes are remarkably well done for this 1974 film. We get to see duels on foot and horseback, the siege of Czestochowa in which the Swedes and the Poles both use cannons to bombard each other, and a large-scale battle in which Tartars then winged-hussars attack a Swedish formation. My favorite has to be all the cannons, so much so that it makes me want to get one. I highly recommend Potop for those that enjoy historic epics. The movie has it all: war, love, and even deeper meanings if we look for them.

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
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