Saturday, September 18, 2004

polish-sausage dept.

Hmmm....I saw this awesome Polish film recently (one of the lesser known films of the famous communist-era director Kitti Fektowski) which begs to be remade with an Indian locale. I only vaguely remember details of the plot, but here's a brief summary:

A poor farmer is beset with problems -- his crops fail for two successive years, and he finds himself neck-deep in debt with the local money-lenders. In the midst of all this turmoil (he is beaten up by goons hired by the loan sharks, and the threat of losing his fields is very real), his son picks up a stray dog and brings it home.

The poor man doesn't need another mouth to feed, and ignores the poor mongrel until, as is the way with most of our childhood infatuations, his boy loses interest in this new-found plaything.

One drunken night, when he is alone under a lustrous full moon casting a clear ethereal light on his dying fields (captured brilliantly by the cinematographer using some sort of diffusing filter), and on the verge of a grisly suicide by guzzling down a vat of pesticide, the farmer notices the dog (now out of canine adolescence and entering adulthood) beside him. There is a look of sneering contempt on the dog's face (I don't know how they managed to capture that).

The recalcitrant farmer stands down, and possibly to make amends, makes the dog his 'pet' project . He takes him everywhere he goes, and where the dog goes, he follows. His family is distressed, horrified at his blatant neglect of his fields.

Then one day, the man has an epiphany that changes him forever. On a plain, arid piece of god-forsaken land, he and his dog are confronted by a pack of voracious wild dogs. The farmer's dog brilliantly counterattacks and sends them 'pack'ing. This scene was particularly hair raising -- looked as if they used a bunch of steadycams, whirling around at canine perpective level. The fight was brilliantly choreographed (some shades of John Woo there?).

Anyway, the farmer sees the error of his ways -- sees that history is forged by those who take, not by meek submissive fools (like the one he has been). The scene fades out with a long-shot of him hysterically laughing and rolling about on the ground while the dog watches on with a perplexed look (although there is perhaps a hint of a knowing wink in that look.)

Then the predictable climax follows -- the farmer hatches diabolically cunning, fiendish schemes to pick off his enemies one by one, until he is left the undisputed master of his fields, and more. The film ends with the man reconciled with his family (his wife, full of disdain and a distant coldness before, now warms up to him after he rapes her in a pig-sty in a particularly steamy scene.). The final scene has him glaring down at the expanse of his dominion, with a monster harvest in the offing, watching his dog tearing down like the wind through the waving stalks of wheat (or barley or maize or what-have-you). I laughed and cried and basically had a ball watching it. Forget the name of the flick though. Maybe imdb has some stuff on it...

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