Opera i teatr


Pokój Saren - Opera Śląska

The Roe's Room
Brendan Kelly
Źródło: Variety 1998, 30 listopada
There is a strange, entrancing beauty to the images and music in the modern opera "The Roe's Room," but the absence of dialogue and lack of anything resembling a story make this Polish pic one tough slog. Lech Majewski --- who directed, scripted, penned the libretto, and co-wrote the music for the project --- calls this film version of a stage production an "autobiographical opera," and the doubtlessly personal tale of a lonely family has its moments of inspiration.

Yarn covers four seasons in one apartment. At start, it's spring, and the mother (Elzbieta Mazur), father (Mieczyslaw Czepulonis) and son (Rafal Olbrychski) sit down to dinner and then get ready for bed. In what passes for major dramatic development, the son hangs a painting of Jesus on the cross in his room, and, soon thereafter, the painting begins to drip blood down the wall. During the summer sequences, flowers bloom inside the apartment.

Then it becomes so smoky that you can barely see anything, and there's a misty, dream-like quality to many of the images. At one point, water covers the floor of the entire apartment, and, by autumn, the dining room is over-run with plants of every stripe. Then the father starts trying to clear the brush using a sickle, and finally, at about the one-hour mark, a whole bunch of deer materialize and hang out in the apartment.

There is a playful quality to both the images and the music at times, which helps lighten the impact of the otherwise dark drama. One of the problems is that there is almost no interaction between the three main characters - each moves around the apartment in isolation following carefully choreographed movements.

Majewski creates striking visual tableaus, and some of the later scenes - particularly after the foliage and animals have taken over the family's home - possess a memorable, haunting quality. But the fact that no subtitles are provided for the libretto makes it hard to grasp what little story there is, and the lack of dramatic development becomes increasingly bothersome. There is a repetitive, Philip Glass feel to much of the music, but, at other times, the music is cranked-up to full-scale, melodramatic levels with full orchestra and choir.