Colors of Evil: Red (2024) – review and opinion about the film [Netflix].  A crime story like no other

A young girl from Tricity finds a job at a local club, where she begins an affair with a manager connected to the criminal underworld. A month later, her naked, mouthless body was pulled from the water. A young and ambitious prosecutor decides to find the truth, despite pressure from all sides to surrender.

There is no greater crime in crime fiction than a poorly conceived plot. A thousand times I have seen situations in which the plot developed interestingly, from a solid starting point, and then the author, who wanted to surprise the viewer/reader at all costs, came to the end with a completely unpredictable plot development, which he said was previously hidden in a random sentence Closer to the beginning of the plot, so that no one would think that the ending came “from the backside.” It’s still half the trouble when the main character finally receives some revelation and gets to the truth. It’s worse when the final solution becomes a mere coincidence, when there is no connection to the intelligent, detective-like solution to the case, piecing together clues and searching for the who, how and why. A scenario prepared in this way can, at best, be compared to a roller coaster ride – Lots of feelings, fear, fun, and expressions, but you, as the recipient, are only a passive observer, and your mind is off, and you are experiencing what the creators of this experience have prepared for you. As with rollercoasters where I expect nothing else at all, I like it when a crime story writer expects me to move my head along the way.

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Guess what kind of scenario we’re dealing with in the case of Adrian Panic’s new movie…

Colors of Evil: Red (2024) – review and opinion about the film [Netflix]. The story is divided into two parts

The film’s plot essentially begins at two points in time, and develops them alternately until their natural conclusion. In the past, we start with the character Monika (Zofia Jastrzebska), whom I mentioned in the introduction. We see him go to the club with his friend Mario (Jan Karol Vytiska), where he meets the manager Waldemar (Wojciech Zieliński), with whom he returns home that same evening and… Cut. Beach, morning. Monica’s body lies right next to the water. The new prosecutor, Leopold Bielski (Jacob Gerzal), arrives. After identifying the policemen handling the case, Keita (Łukasz Pawłowski) and Bažek (Wojciech Kalita), he consults a pathologist, Tadeusz Dubiela (Andrzej Konopka), who identifies the body. The mother of the deceased, Judge Helena Bogucka (Maja Ostaszewska), was informed.

The plot twists and meanders, regularly presenting new clues and possibilities. We soon learn that a similar crime occurred fifteen years ago, and the perpetrator had recently been released from prison. Interestingly, this theme was apparently fully developed in the original book by Małgorzata Oliwia Sobczak – some events from that period are even described for us. Meanwhile, in the movie, the whole thing is reduced to two or three sentences said by Bielski’s boss. It’s as if the creators wanted us to know right away that this isn’t the way… Later, there’s the character of a certain Kazar (Przemyslaw Ploszcz), the deceased’s absent father (Andrzej Zielinski) and a few others who could potentially have her A motive, or at least a possibility. It’s really fun to watch while you’re at it. The problem is that it doesn’t lead to anything interesting.

Colors of Evil: Red (2024) – review and opinion about the film [Netflix]. Manual work sometimes lacks this and that

Appointment with the boss

I would say that although the actors are doing a good job, the situation in this area is also very uneven. On the one hand, we have really strong performances, such as the main role of Jastrzębska, who on the one hand is an amusing girl, who does not even think for half a second about the consequences of her actions, on the other hand, is terrified by what is happening and on the third hand is calm, hurt and asking for help. Elsewhere we have roles that, as they say in English, chew the scenery. The king here is Mr. Ivy, who is primarily just a complete idiot, just pretending to be a serious businessman or gangster. You can see that he played every scene with the slogan “I’m a total devil” ringing merrily in his head. However, most of the time we find here simply weak characters, delivering texts without an ounce of emotion just to get through their day. Ostaszewska and Konopka are partly to blame for this, but the worst is undoubtedly the main character, because I expected much more from Gierszał than flat delivery of lines and looking at everything with a bored face.

Pictures usually turn out well. Nothing unusual, but they do their job, although one thing bothered me a little. I understand that in Polish horses, and more broadly, European horses, if there are no breasts or at least buttocks, there will be no film, But even in such a climate there must be some limits to good taste. For example, putting a character who has recently been raped in the center of the frame and is fearing for her life completely naked — not sexually, but just in the bathtub so the viewer can look in — is absolutely disgusting and should not happen. It serves no purpose at all, because the actress has already presented herself “in the gravy”, and she is just trying to grab the viewer’s attention on the cheap.

Since we’re talking about audio-visual experiences, it’s useful to say a couple of words about the soundtrack. On the one hand, the director offers us a wealth of catchy classics that properly emphasize the events on screen, and on the other hand, there is simply too much music. Almost every scene is highlighted with a song that goes along with what we’re watching, making us feel like either the creators think the viewers are stupid or they’re simply trying too hard. However, complete silence can be excellent tension-building material. However, someone preferred to be frank – again, not trusting the viewer’s intelligence.

The Color of Evil: Red isn’t the worst thriller, especially given the state of cinematography today, but for every ambitious element it has, there are at least a few that are woefully unfinished, and poorly made, given the established framework. There is nothing special about the characters, the mystery fails on more than one level, and the acting can be outstanding at times and downright bad at others. You can watch it, and if you don’t have too many expectations, you can end the session in a good mood, but if you are looking for a really good thriller… keep looking.

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