Forgotten Love (Znachor) tells the story of a man who loses everything in life but gets a second chance at happiness when he reunites with his daughter years later. The film is now streaming on Netflix.
Professor Rafał Wilczur is a brain surgeon who is known to be a genius. He is a kind man who does not think twice before helping the needy. One day, Rafał’s wife, who is in love with another man, leaves him and takes their daughter with her.
Rafał goes to look for them and becomes a victim of mugging. Rafał’s friend, Professor Jerzy Dobraniecki, arrives there and witnesses him getting beaten up by his assailants. Dobraniecki is bitter about Rafał being made the chief surgeon over him, so he does not help Rafał and leaves him to die.
Although Rafał survives, he is assumed dead. Rafał loses his memory and does not remember anything about his life. He keeps getting the feeling that he needs to find someone, but he does not remember who that person is.
After wandering from place to place for fifteen years, he ends up settling down in a village. His daughter, Marysia, is working at a tavern in the same village, but even when they meet, they do not recognize each other.
Rafał has forgotten everything, but he has neither lost the skills of a surgeon nor the love that he has for his daughter. Will Rafał regain his memory and realize that Marysia is the person he has been looking for?
Leszek Lichota gives a convincing performance as Rafał. He depicts Rafał’s kindness and the fatherly love that he feels for Marysia with a becoming gentleness. Furthermore, it is easy to tell that he is a man who has nothing to call his own.
Maria Kowalska’s Marysia is a free-spirited woman who is quite charming. No matter what Marysia is feeling, Kowalska manages to hold the audience’s attention. Her chemistry with Ignacy Liss, who plays Leszek and is just as charming, is an added bonus.
Anna Szymańczyk, who plays Zofia, is loving, bold, and even funny at times. Although she plays a minor character, Zofia is one of the most entertaining characters in the film.
The film is marked by an ever-present sense of longing, an echo of the protagonist’s feelings. The idea that Rafał is seeking something that even he does not know dominates the film. It is conveyed in various ways, such as Rafał becoming troubled after looking at a young girl.
The attention to detail in the film is praiseworthy. From the roads to the light switches, every detail brings the Poland of the twentieth century to life. There is a notable scene in the film that captures people being held in awe of cinema when it was something new.
The film tells a sentimental story of a good man’s tragic life. Apart from Rafał’s story, the stories of other characters like Michał also leave an impact. However, it balances the emotional scenes with some very wholesome moments.
The film somehow manages to make Rafał’s serious trial funny. It sees various villagers testifying in Rafał’s favor. The trial, which consists of a series of comical testimonies, provides much-needed comic relief.
When it comes to pacing, the film somewhat struggles to find its footing. For the most part, the plot progresses at a slow pace, but the ending is quite hurried. Towards the end, all the major conflicts get resolved one after the other in the blink of an eye.
While Leszek and Marysia are a sweet couple, their love story is full of clichés. It is so full of overused tropes that it is devoid of any originality. Even the conflict is the one that has been seen in several films before.
Based on the popular Polish novel Znachor, Forgotten Love manages to distinguish itself from its source material, but it still lacks originality. That said, it is a film that takes the audience on an emotional journey.
Director: Michał Gazda
Date Created: 2023-09-25 22:24
Also Read: Forgotten Love summary and ending explained