The title of this Polish noir immediatly identifies it as an Art-noir (a palimpsest
being a manuscript that's been written over more than once with the earliest
writing incompletely erased underneath) but the sub-title should read a
Maddening! Mystery. It's well directed by Konrad Nielowski, from a script
by Igor Brejdyagant.
Visually it's a great noirmare featuring a disturbing dark ambient score through
which Nieloswski brilliantly interweaves short recurring scenes, a mosiac form
& color motifs with a low key lighting scheme of just allowing select areas of
the frame to be lit that combines for a disturbing subterranean mood that
seems to threaten a turn into horror at any moment.
Marek (Andrezj Chyra) a police inspector is pulled from disturbing dreams and
called to the morgue to find a fellow cop & friend laid out on a slab. His body
shows great trauma from a fall but there is also water in his lungs.
Marek interrogates various neighbors, drinking buddies, enemies as well as Marek's
ex-girlfriend (Magdelena Cielecka who could easily pass for Monica Potter in her
blonde Without A Trace days) who had left him for the dead man. His search brings
an attack from a couple of thugs who vodka-board Marek.
He's taken to the hospital where they detox him. The instant he's able to sit up
and wobble off he's on the case again. The more finds the more it looks like he
may be the killer. But the script trips into one of those twist endings that takes
all the air out of the plot.
Worse even then " and it was all a dream." is " and he was really just crazy all along"
which upends such films as A Beautiful Mind & Shutter Island. Here its wet-head
psychosis, a.k.a. Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, his paranoid delusions peopled
with other patients & doctors around him. Yep the DT's.
That said the visual & aural aspects as well as the acting are all excellent.