The new “Quack” is much better than the previous one.  We’ve seen the Netflix version

This year I had the opportunity to watch Jerzy Hoffmann’s 1981 film “The Quack” for the first time. My impressions…were not very good. So I treated the new “impostor” with suspicion. It turns out to be unnecessary, because the Netflix version is a much better movie.

  • My critique of the classic film adaptation of “The Quack” was met with a very emotional response from many readers
  • Rafael Wilczor (Leszek Leshota) in the new film “Quack” finally becomes a man of flesh and blood with desires and weaknesses.
  • The new “Quack” also gave us real evil characters who do not undergo a magical transformation at the end of the movie.
  • You can find more articles about cinema on Onet’s home page

*Niko Graczyk is non-binary and uses dukaisms

“Quack” – as most of you probably know – tells the story of a professor. Rafael Wilczor, a brilliant surgeon left behind by his wife and child. He gets drunk in a bar, is attacked, and loses his memory as a result of the beating. Then he wanders around for years, doing all kinds of jobs, until he finally starts treating people, using skills he forgot he had.

My criticism of the classic film adaptation of this novel was met with a very emotional reaction from many readers. So I would like to reassure those who are worried about their nerves – I will almost praise the new “charlatan”.

Pure-blooded wolfhound

“Ladies and gentlemen, Your Honor, this is Professor Rafael Wilczor” – we will not hear this sentence in the new “Quack”. This is good news, because the humor in Hoffman’s work doesn’t come out of nowhere. The 1981 film was full of one-dimensional paper characters and over-the-top dialogue and monologues (like the ones mentioned above), and it was all drenched in a huge amount of pathos.

Leszek Lichota as professor. Rafael Wilczor.

Photo: Bartosz Mrozowski/Netflix

The new film “Quack” directed by Michał Gazda (known from “Wataha” or “Odwroty”) has almost none of the above flaws that made Hoffman’s work, in my opinion, so unsuccessful.

The rest of the text is below the video.

Rafael Wilczor (Leszek Leshota) in the new film “Quack” is finally a man of flesh and blood with desires and weaknesses. On screen, we have the opportunity to observe the developing love affair with Zośka (Anna Szymańczyk), in which passion, jealousy, care and romance are shown. Earlier, we also see why his wife Beata fell in love with another man and abandoned him – Wilczor kept her a secret and treated her as a “trophy wife” rather than a partner. However, in the previous film adaptation of Dołęga-Mostowicz’s novel, the Medicine Man is portrayed as a celibate saint who does no wrong and is only concerned with sacrificing himself for others.

Ignacy Liss as Count Czyński and Maria Kowalska as Maricia.

Ignacy Lisz as Count Czyński and Maria Kowalska as Maricia.

Photo: Bartosz Mrozowski/Netflix

The new “Quack” also gave us real evil characters who do not undergo a magical transformation at the end of the movie. This was the case in the previous film “Quack Man” with Count Czyński’s mother, who throughout the film wanted to prevent her son from having a relationship with Wilczur’s or Zenek’s daughter, which led to the lovers’ accident Zośka and Count Czyński.

Moreover, the new version also made Dr. Jerzy Dobranecki, who says the famous quote in Hoffman’s film, is the main antagonist who abandons Wilczor for his own career, which makes the story even more interesting. The film adaptation, over forty years old, would certainly have lacked such a darker character.

It won’t become a classic

Of course, in my opinion, there are still very few shortcuts or coincidences in this story – for example, that Wilczor and his daughter end up in the same village at the same time or that his former traitorous friend becomes an expert in his case – but in light of the above changes These things are no longer important, they sting your eyes.

Maria Kowalska as Maricia.

Maria Kowalska as Maricia.

Photo: Bartosz Mrozowski/Netflix

Aside from the plot problems, the new “Quack Man” is also very interesting to look at – the images and scenography are full of an idyllic Slavic atmosphere. It’s similar to music. The acting is also certainly more convincing, but that can be blamed on the passage of time, because cinematic acting 40 years ago was simply very different than it is now.

Does the new “Quack” have a chance to become a new classic? I don’t think so, because it’s not the film’s artistic values ​​that made its predecessor so popular, but rather its annual Easter screening. However, it doesn’t have to become a cult classic for Netflix’s “The Quack.” It definitely has something more important – a quality that will definitely keep me coming back.

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