The first Polish Netflix series "1983", which was to make the country famous, did not come out. I have read the reviews and I have the impression that some journalists try to not offend Netflix. In my opinion, the platform deserved malicious comments for this project. Behind the series are inexperienced people. Why? We have many talented screenwriters and originators on the Polish film industry. Besides watching this series, I had to refuse repeatedly from intrusive thoughts, jokes about main character Maciej Musiał.
Maciej Musiał is the originator of the “1983” script, co-producer, and, of course, the main role actor. I do not know why Joshua Long, an American screenwriter with no experience in writing scripts, without elementary knowledge about Polish history, took part in this projected well. Historical knowledge would be very useful to him to write a decent script about political fiction about the alternative history of Poland.
Agnieszka Holland is best known in this company, she with three other directors: Kasia Adamik, Olga Chajdas and Agnieszka Smoczyńska, who has undertaken to direct the whole show. I do not know how to evaluate their work, is totally transparent, because the production is devoid of a clear style, in addition, they worked with a very bad script, so weak that even Robert Więckiewicz could not handle it. In “1983”, you can see how he struggles with the starting material, how he rolls this uneven fight and how he loses.
It is worth knowing that the original version of the script was written in English, which is interesting because the series from the very beginning was to be played in Poland, with Polish actors. Then, someone translating English-to-Polish with linguistic sensitivity of Google translator. I also have the impression that some of the actors were replaced by speech synthesizer, especially Edyta Olszówke, which is absolutely terrible in this series.
But here the American influence does not end because "1983" is constructed like a typical American B-series from a station like ABC, CBS or FOX. In places it even holds a good timing but it did not change anything when the story is stupid and dialogue is horror. The exhibition in dialogues hurts, especially when characters in the tone of discoverers, repeat basic information or call each other by name in a vocative.
Show is plastic, has one-dimensional heroes and an illogical plot that does not allow the viewer to enter the watched stories and is terribly serious. This is particularly sad, especially since the idea itself was cool, and as a fan of dystopia I was waiting for another good series from this genre.
I have the impression that in the creative madness they packed so many threads here that they forgot to make any sense. They also forgot to build interpersonal relations, which means that some of the protagonists behaviours remain for me without any justification. For example, what is the bond between Kajetan Skowron and Anatol Janow, I do not understand where the uniqueness of Kajetan lies.
The only thing really good in the series is an alternative world from the visual side, in Poland we do not have much experience in filming SF therefore we do not have experience in showing what is not there, so thanks to the huge work of those responsible for the set design, the locations managed to create an amazing futuristic visions. On the one hand, full of brutal architecture, monumental, post-communist on the other side - glass houses, which links the PRL and the future straight from Dubai. An interesting element is the introduction of Chinatown, which is located on the east bank of Warsaw and under the Poniatowski Bridge, these are places visions straight from "Blade Runner", which may not be defended by the scenario, but nevertheless it looks good and, more importantly, introduces this special kind of climate.
From the first minutes of “1983”, Netflix tried to make a series for a foreign viewer here, to whom Poland is associated with Walesa, Wojtyla and sausage and knows that there was such a thing as communism. It does not necessarily know how this communism looked like, of course it is not the most important because the action is focused on the alternative version of 2003, but viewers in Poland may feel disappointment. As for people outside Poland, I have no idea how you will get to see the show, because I do not know how these terrible Polish dialogues will sound, maybe the series will be received better, but for sure it will not be wiser.
I know that I did not discuss the plot but it seems to me that not much can be said about it, besides, I do not want to throw spoilers. However I could talk for hours about what does not fit in the story, I do not remember when I felt such disappointed about any series or movie.