The lead roles are characterised through various eye level shots and a lingering lens that captures indicative and natural expressions. In moments of freedom, Kuba is filtered in natural hues, with his guilt captured in cold blues that embrace or chill the viewer almost unknowingly. Equal attention is given to sound, matching scenes with ethereal breaths, breeze or a mounting dirty beat to increase tension. It's all mastered beautifully, with each prolific scene made visually arresting with immaculate symmetrical framing. Yet Floating Skyscrapers' screenplay, perhaps groundbreaking in its homeland, is nothing new here. It shares various plot threads with Sally El Hosaini's remarkable debut My Brother the Devil (2012), and is largely formulaic in its unfolding.
It's Wasilewski's thoughtful execution that sets his film apart. Although dominated by Banasiuk and Gelner, the evolution of their courtship brings out unexpectedly remarkable performances from the secondary female characters. Nieradkiewicz's rejected Sylwia proves, with her subtle physical nuances, that actions can often speak much louder than informative discourse. Similarly (slightly) underused, Herman makes a fearful and intimidating impression as the demanding matriarch, restraining her son with her unremitting apron strings and adding depth to Kuba's self-centred condition. Performed by all with great assurance and composed with distinguished directorial flair, Floating Skyscrapers is refined Polish cinema at its most unrelentingly raw.
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