|Richard J.Brzostek - 05/02/2007
A Fantastic Historical Film Set in the Early 19th Century, December 29, 2004
"Pan Tadeusz" is a dramatic historical film, based on an epic poem by Adam Mickiewicz. As the film is based on a poem, the characters often speak in rhyme, and often a very proper sounding Polish. "Pan Tadeusz" is in Polish, but many of the words used in the film are not widely used today, so the English subtitles are most helpful. The film is set in the early 19th century, in the years just before Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812. The film is directed by one of Poland's most renowned directors, Andrzej Wajda, and is cast with many of Poland's best actors, such as Daniel Olbrychski.
Tadeusz Soplica (Michal Zebrowski) returns from his studies to his uncle's manor in Lithuania. At approximately the same time, Count Horeszko (Marek Kondrat) returns from his travels of Europe to find his family's castle in disrepair and under ownership dispute by his neighbor Judge Soplica (Andrzej Seweryn). Staying at the Soplica estate is Telimena (Grazyna Szapolowska), whom both Tadeusz and Count Horeszko desire.
Telemenia is the guardian of Zosia, a young woman that quickly gains the attention of Tadeusz. Tadeusz's uncle, Judge Soplica, hopes to play matchmaker and marry Tadeusz with Zosia. As she is of Horeszko blood, the marriage would settle the feud between the two warring families.
A monk named Robak (Boguslaw Linda) provides hope for the people whose land once was free and part of Poland by spreading rumors of Napoleon's arrival. Before this time, Poland and Lithuania were united as one country for hundreds of years. Napoleon is viewed as a potential savior of Poland, as he would combat the Russians who have oppressed the Poles. Robak also plays a major role in the matchmaking of Tadeusz and Zosia, as his intentions are to unite the people, and this would stop the fighting over the old Horeszko castle.
"Pan Tadeusz" is a fantastic historical film, as it shows some of the history of Poland and serves as a point of reflection for its people. There are glimpses of Napoleonic armies marching to their doom, but the fighting scenes of the film take place between the Poles and Russians. After fighting, those involved became exiles in their own land, as they were unsafe from the future Russians that were sure to come. The film also has romance, as Tadeusz is smitten by Zosia's beauty. From one of Poland's most distinguished directors, comes one of Poland's best known poems, cast with several of Poland's best actors -- "Pan Tadeusz" is a modern Polish masterpiece.
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