80 Million

Cineworld, February 15, 8.45pm; February 17, 1.15pm

SET in the Polish city of Wroclaw in 1981, and inspired by real events, Waldemar Krzystek's film follows a group of Solidarnosc activists as they attempt to hide the trade union's money (the titular 80 million zlotys) from the Stalinist dictatorship. The movie is, ironically, most impressive not when following its primary narrative, but in depicting the major forces at work when General Jaruzelski declared martial law; namely, the massed ranks of Solidarnosc strikers and protestors on one side, and the heavily armed soldiers and cops of the nominally "socialist" state on the other. The main plot is hampered considerably by the over-acting of Piotr Glowacki as a grinningly demonic (and ultimately absurd) secret police chief. The intended tension of the narrative is also hindered by a soundtrack which could have come straight from the bedroom of a dodgy 1980s teenage rock band. Although filmed in convincingly washed-out colour, one can't help but think that this movie would like to be Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's The Lives Of Others when it grows up.

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Mark Brown