Day of the Wacko

2002 Polish character study

Rating: 15/20

Plot: Exactly as advertised, this is one day in the life of a obsessive-compulsive teacher who doesn't get along with the rest of the world. All he really wants to do is write a poem, but his underwear is irritating his crotch, the woman upstairs is practicing her karate, and a dog is pooping underneath his window.

It's the little things that make this movie very funny. Not that you really want to laugh all that much because the protagonist's life is about as sad as a movie life can possibly be. But there's something funny about watching this guy do everything in sevens or tug at the crotch of his pants before sitting down or take a crap in a neighbor's yard or complain to his mother about his students or confront his enemies or maneuver through a mine-field of dog doo-doo or whatever he's doing. This is one of those movies that goes nowhere. It has a little bit to say about the Golden Rule maybe, or more accurately about the dangers of making yourself some Golden Rule martyr, but there's not much story here. Instead, this is the sort of movie that really digs into a character, probably deeper than most people really want to even go, investigating the minutia of the guy's existence. It's almost more of a biopsy than it is a film. You feel sorry for the guy while not really liking him and laughing at him rather than with him, and there's not really a point in the movie where you feel optimistic about the poor guy's future. Ultimately, I did end up liking and maybe even identifying with the guy. I do wonder if there's anything I'm missing by not being Polish person, and I'm pretty sure some of the subtitles were either untranslatable Polish idioms or just plain wrong. Those who like their comedy dry and miserable might like this; a lot of viewers will like it about as much as they like polka music though.

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