DENNIS SCHWARTZ 
IS THERE ANY GOOD 
IN SAYING 
EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?

 
WALKOWER (WALKOVER) (director/writer: Jerzy Skolimowski; cinematographer: Antoni Nurzynski; editors: Alina Faflik/Jerzy Skolimowski; music: Andrzej Trzaskowski; cast: Jerzy Skolimowski (Andrzej Leszczyc), Aleksandra Zawieruszanka (Teresa Karczewska), Krzysztof Chamiec (Conglomerate Manager), Andrzej Herder (Lorry Driver Marian Pawlak), Franciszek Pieczka (Activist), Henryk Kluba (Coach Rogala), Joanna Jedlewska (Designer), Krzysztof Litwin (Miecio), Tadeusz Kondrat (Old Shop Owner), Stanislaw Zaczyk (Priest), Mieczyslaw Waskowski (Police Lieutenant); Runtime: 77; MPAA Rating: NR; Film Polski-in PAL; 1965-Poland-in Polish with English subtitles)

 
"Depressing boxing pic."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz 

Jerzy Skolimowski ("Identification Marks: None"/"Rysopis"/"Bariera"), a former amateur boxer, directs this rather depressing boxing pic, one of four early semi-autobiographical films (this being the second). It's a mood piece about outsiders (a rebel without a cause pic), that has some raw energy and paints a grim picture of its industrial setting and how ordinary life is that it can be compared to a dog's life. It also questions competition in business and in sports, and how aging matters in both the sports and business worlds.

On the eve of his thirtieth birthday, college-drop-out amateur boxer Andrzej Leszczyc (Jerzy Skolimowski) arrives by train at the Plock station, and ignores the suicide of a girl who threw herself on the tracks. He accidentally meets the 27-year-old Teresa Karczewska (Aleksandra Zawieruszanka), someone he has not seen for a long time. She's in Plock to submit her design for the new cathedral, a competition among engineer designers. They were in college ten years ago, and she got him expelled because of her activism. Since then Andrzej has done military service and aimlessly drifted across the country and failed his engineer tests at a technical college. Andrzej enters a boxing tournament at the local factory, the same one Teresa submitted her project to. The sullen boxer spends the night with Teresa and the next night gets an undeserved decision victory over the factory's young lorry driver (Andrzej Herder), and then the youth talks Andrzej into jumping off the train and fighting for the championship with his more rugged next opponent rather than splitting for Warsaw. When the other boxer fails to appear, Andrzej is declared winner in a walkover and given a wristwatch as prize. The opponent appears after Andrzej exits the arena and demands his share of the prize (claiming that their trainer, Rogala, had bribed him to forfeit the bout). Rather than submit, Andrzej dukes it out with him in the street and is about to take a beating when the film ends.

REVIEWED ON 3/31/2011       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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