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Dekalog 09 - Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Wife (1988)

Original Title : Dekalog, dziewiec
Director : Krzysztof Kieslowski
Writer : Krzysztof Piesiewicz
Krzysztof Kieslowski
Genre : Drama
Country : Poland
Language : Polish
Producer : Ryszard Chutkowski
Music : Zbigniew Preisner
Photography : Piotr Sobocinski
IMDB ID : 0094991
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poster for "Dekalog 09 - Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Wife" by Krzysztof Kieslowski (1988)
Dekalog 09 - Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Wife (1988) - Krzysztof Kieslowski
 

Starring

Ewa Blaszczyk Hanka
Piotr Machalica Roman
Artur Barcis Bicyclist
Jan Jankowski Mariusz
Jolanta Pietek-Górecka Ola
Katarzyna Piwowarczyk Ania
Jerzy Trela Mikolaj
 

Plot

"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife". Roman, after discovering his impotence, urges his wife Hanka to take a lover. She reluctantly complies, and Roman, despite his earlier words, becomes obsessively jealous. Spying on her, he learns of her affair, and vows to kill himself - not knowing that Hanka was in fact breaking off the relationship...
 

Comments

Moribund Melodramatic Over-reaction Surgeon reacts to a diagnosis of impotence as if it were a terminal illness, urging his wife to take a lover and plunging into suicidal depression. His wife, however, is willing to live with the diagnosis and swears to a love above and beyond sex, which he rejects, at first, the movie is about his struggling with and final acceptance of this Platonic ideal. Jealousy leads him to spy on and covet his own wife, ergo the commandment. But this only humiliates him further. In a parallel, somewhat superfluous plot, a young female patient asks his advice about a risky operation which would enable her to sing, her life's dream. Both face the same dilemma of whether or not to accept a physical limitation which deprives them of their life's passion. Unlike him, the young woman is willing to live with her disease and forego singing. He changes her mind. I thought the surgeon and the film, both, over-reacted to the diagnosis, assigned too much weight to it. The melodramatic lack of perspective makes the movie as moribund as its subject matter. Of course, it's amply color coded, the passing stranger in white rides by again, and, again, there's lapse of credibility: the surgeon shares a cigarette with the patient who is supposed to have a disease so debilitating as to prevent her from singing--this makes no sense. But, once again, K. knows how to make the final scene count, canceling earlier shortcomings, at least for a moment. Overwrought arty soap opera. By this stage of the series one is right to be more than a little weary and wary of having the same heart strings tugged on to play the same melancholy tune.
 
poster for "Dekalog 09 - Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Wife"
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Dekalog 09 - Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Wife (1988) - Krzysztof Kieslowski
poster for "Dekalog 09 - Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Wife"
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Dekalog 09 - Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Wife (1988) - Krzysztof Kieslowski
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