Into The Night – Short Film Review

After weeks of staying inside, Krysia’s mother pushes her to go to a party. She manages to sneak out with someone else who doesn’t want to be there, and they spend the evening together.

About halfway through this film, I realised it was a loving, coming-of-age film, just presented to us in a harsh and gritty light. This Polish film focuses on the issues of the characters more than the way they portray them, which makes it really stand out. Often, we’re drawn into this sort of film with an upbeat soundtrack, cool costumes, and crazy events, which make us feel like we’ve not had our coming-of-age story yet. But it’s the script and story behind Into The Night, which reaffirms with me that however we grow up, whether dark or sparkly, we all deserve to see that on our screens.

Directed by Kamila Tarabura, it’s wonderful to see a female led story shown through female eyes. Often when stories look at sexuality, you can tell how well it’s been handled by how we see it on screen, and this style and edge of film didn’t forget to be respectful and understanding of the characters, but also people who may be in the same boat. I’ve mentioned the script, but I’d love to look at it in more detail. Written by Nina Lewandowska, this beautiful mix of classic film charm and down to earth knowledge really come together well in the dialogue and playout of the story, standing out against the typical teen films we often see. Sure, it isn’t as bright and lovely to look at, but I see more of myself in this than I have in any of the big Hollywood blockbusters that show me how I should be. It’s truly lovely to know that the pair are working together to create a drama series about growing up, as something like this should be seen, celebrated and expanded upon.

Staring Agnieszka Rajda and Nel Kaczmarek, we see two very similar people who just have different problems. I loved seeing them come together, learning from each other about life and how they want to live it from now on. Firstly, the film looks at mental health, and how someone can feel so alone. Even though this one dizzy evening won’t solve everything, it was lovely to see Rajda play her role in a way that didn’t put a finger on her issues, meaning that anyone watching could relate to her in a way. She felt fresh and different, and I loved her fluidness from staying quiet and out of the way, to someone really wanting a part in the action. Opposite her, Kaczmarek plays her character with feistiness and confusion, again allowing the audience to be able to see themselves if questioning their sexuality. I loved this part of the story, keeping us wondering if the rumours really were just lies, or keeping true to life that people do find it difficult to deal with the conflict of emotions and feelings.

This film really does stand out for me in a genre that I love, really bringing the truth of growing up home. With a dark backdrop and a soundtrack to match, we know that the way we grow up and live our lives is ok, and to be confused or scared is completely normal, but there are people who can help us through it, even if we don’t expect them to.

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