Year 1954. A woman and a man dance drunk, oblivious to the world, in a club in Paris. The burning touch of Charlie Parker's saxophone pushes them to lose themselves in their flight to themselves, in the renewed promise that gives physical contact, in the beautiful lie that gives a song emerged in the middle of an improvised night. The world is in the middle of the cold war, but they are exiled from the world. At least, they are while the music lasts.
They are Joanna Kulig and Tomasz Kot in Cold War, Pawel Pawlikowski's movie. Two people intoxicated by music, that melancholy symphony that unites unsuspecting beings, even in the strangest circumstances. Like when he, almost a decade earlier, in 1945 in Poland, falls in love with her. Greater than that blonde girl with a wounded look, examining her like a bureaucrat, he asks her, fascinated and without attending to her papers, to sing again without her partner, alone. That girl seems special, she is attracted to that "something wild" that tells the other examiner impassive gesture. That something that is, in reality, the freedom of its song, like a fantasy inside a gray society, governed by innumerable norms, doomed to the iron fist of the new communist regime. A romance in the shadows is born in them, behind the iron curtains.
Cold War narrates the life of an impossible love, but also shows how music is always the refuge of impossible loves. It happens several times in the movie. When he threatens to leave the first time feeling betrayed, she throws herself into the water and starts singing. When he thinks of her, destitute of his native land and his lips, he pummels the piano possessed in his rage. When she feels misunderstood by him in the sham environment of Paris, she starts dancing rock and roll as if there were no tomorrow. And, to tell the truth, there is never one among them. Therefore, in Cold War music is decisive, flowing elegant and emotional, even when there is distance between them, as a common thread that gives them the time and place they always lack. What they missed from the first day.
Both are prey to what Kafka called "the silence of the sirens." That happened when the travelers did not go crazy for the captivating song of the sirens but for the silence that they left in their lives. Or as Dorothy Parker wrote in one of her stories: "When I saw that the phone was not ringing, I knew right away that it was you." Like when the other person does not speak to you because he is not there and you start talking to yourself. It does not kiss you because it is not there and you start being a stubble of yourself.
Through cigarettes that are consumed in a hypnotic black and white or gestures that fit with a beauty typical of classical cinema, Cold War It also shows the silences of impossible love. It shows a woman and a man loving and wishing in their exiled romance, crashing into no man's land. Two beings that loved each other from the first day in the impossibility and that since then can not do otherwise, predestined to not know how to love themselves in the possibility, like that screw that does not fit in its place, still put body and soul in twisting it.
Cold War It is the story of an exiled love, but with its own melody. A woman and a man dancing in Paris in 1954, but also embraced in Warsaw in 1960. A love that survives in times of cold war. A love that is like the "bruised tenderness" with which they defined the sad music of Chet Baker. A devastated, but beautiful love, invading you in the darkest night, freeing you from reality with its sound. A sound like another world.