Based on the best-selling book by Jakub Szamałek, the simplest way to describe the story is as a conflict full of tension and twists between a sociopath hiding in the dark web and a reporter tracking down celebrity scandals, who herself falls victim to a media campaign. “Hidden Web” without missing a thing grades Both journalistic satire and reckless use of technology, though, it works best when it simply sticks to the main intrigue and allows the viewer to participate in the on-screen investigation. Pyotr Adamski’s thriller can successfully rival Scandinavian detective stories, where it’s not so much the truth as the method of getting there that stirs the greatest shivers.
Perhaps the comparison between “The Hidden Web” and the achievements of northern European cinema is a bit exaggerated, but in fact it is difficult from the very first frames of Piotr Adamski’s film not to notice some common features with Swedish or Danish thrillers. And it’s not even about stripping Warsaw of its glamor and exclusivity, which doesn’t look like a modern city straight out of a romantic comedy. In an equally raw and natural way, The Hidden Web also presents its protagonists immersed in mediocrity, who have to face something imperceptible at first glance, and for that very reason can be very dangerous.
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Julieta and Jessica are the most emphatic of this (Magdalena Kolesnik), a celebrity scandal journalist, who only noticed the toxicity of social media and tabloid pursuit of “clicks” when she became the hero of an online scandal herself. Her intimate video goes viral on the internet, just as the woman begins to delve deeper into the subject of the TV star’s fatal accident. Obviously, someone wants Julieta to stop her investigation. Deprived of the support of the editorial staff and Wójcick’s relatives, she must strive to unmask the stalker and find out his motives on her own. She will embark on a dangerous path that will lead her to a high-ranking elite, while at the same time forcing her to confront family secrets.
A thriller that is not without flaws, but one that draws you in and keeps you going until the very end
There will be many topics in this somewhat blind investigation, and filmmakers will not always be able to handle the sheer amount of content. And this despite the fact that the author of the literary original, Jacob Zamalek, is the co-author of the script. Of course, cinema is governed by its own rules, so turning novels into the language of film requires compromises and simplifications. Their effects in the Hidden Web were a relatively large reduction of dialogue and the abbreviation of individual scenes. Therefore, it is difficult to delve deeply into character characteristics or analyze the twists and turns in the plot.
There’s a lot of it, which, with the story’s highly effective pace and engaging plot, makes Pyotr Adamski’s film watchable from cover to cover with the same focus and increased appetite, which it probably doesn’t make up for with a “lackluster” and abrupt ending. Fortunately, that doesn’t detract from the show’s enjoyment too much, because The Hidden Web is tailored to the requirements of a racist thriller, in which even the fictional gibberish (who, especially media workers, clicks the button on suspicious email attachments?) and its shortcomings are inconsequential. Able to violate the dense atmosphere accompanying the events appearing on the screen. Therefore, the right atmosphere is very important in such productions, and the filmmakers take care of this carefully from the very first frames.
“Hidden Web” warns about technology and the like
However, an effective thriller should not be limited to the main question of the plot: guess who it is. This is well known by Piotr Adamski, behind the camera, who, apart from Julieta’s investigation, tries to interest the viewer with what is in the background. The Hidden Web illustrates in a very clear way the cynicism of contemporary media, especially tabloids, based on basic human instincts. The pursuit of sensation and likes/clicks takes priority over reliability and journalistic skills. The clash between the old and new school of media can be seen, for example, in Julieta’s relationship with her father (André Swerin), a respected former journalist in the community, who disapproves of his daughter’s work.
The “hidden web” can also be taken as a warning against the reckless use of the benefits of technology. Technology that tracks our every move, which the main character painfully discovers. Today, you don’t need hacking skills to spy on other people’s lives. The idea of online infiltration recurs in Adamski’s film more than once. Some shots from computer cameras, street cameras or cars are also suggestive. One of these sequences is actually the opening scene.
Adamski also attempts to introduce criminal conspiracy into the contemporary mood of Polish society. It is no coincidence that there are television scenes of mutual “courtesy” between representatives of two opposing political options. There are also sequences of women striking. Of course, it’s about emphasizing the appropriate context for the whole story, but such individual interventions don’t have a chance to resonate fully and form an insignificant addition to the margins of the hidden network.
Description of Magdalena Kolesnik
On the other hand, Magdalena Kulishnik leaves no margins for possible accusations or comments regarding her role. The well-known actress from “Sweat” or the TV series “Kruk” presents an equally elevated figure, no easy feat. She is practically still in the limelight, and the scenes that are devoid of her presence can be counted on the fingers of one hand. It is a great challenge for the actor not to tire the viewer with his performance with such intensity and skillfully distributing emotional accents. Koleśnik accomplished both of these tasks perfectly, creating a character who is enigmatic and sometimes difficult to decipher. A true acting show and further proof that cinema is its destiny.
You can also praise the creators of “Hidden Network” for their commitment Andre Soerin I Peter Trojanwho may not get a lot of screen time, but are sure to be memorable through individual scenes and through those little bits of text they can make for engaging characters.
The Hidden Web is unlikely to match the original text of the book, despite the difficulty of fitting a 400-page novel into over an hour and a half. Pyotr Adamski’s film suffers from a lot of plot irregularity, but what matters in this genre is the ability to build tension and build the main plot. From this angle, the film adaptation of the best-selling literary book looks more than solid. The “hidden web” did not turn out to be the “hidden truth”, which unfortunately is not always the norm in Polish cinema.
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