I began watching Pawel Pawlikowski’s ‘Ida’ on Netflix last night and have continued early this morning. It is a brilliantly minimalist visual feast served by cinematographers Ryszard Lenczewski and Lukasz Zal.
In the first 15 minutes of the film, I was spoilt for choice while deciding which frame to highlight because the film up to that point has been an unending stream of visual gifts. One watches movies as much for their stories/performance as for their visual content and editing. It is cinema after all and not a radio play.
The moment the movie opened the first visual reference that popped up in my mind was Satyajit Ray’s 1958 masterpiece ‘Jalsaghar’ (The Music Room). The elegant decrepitude of the once opulent palatial mansion’s music room is extraordinary in ‘Jalsaghar’ just as the novitiate nun’s journey into her family’s dark past during the Nazi era Poland from her time in 1960 is captivating. I have given three frames from ‘Jalsaghar’ below for your edification.
The purpose today is not to write about the whole of ‘Ida’ because I am still in the midst of it but point out its stunning cinematography. I have a weakness for visuals while watching movies as much as memorable lines.