Sunday, 26 October 2014

Bogowie (2014)

As I didn't know what the word 'bogowie' meant (I was expecting it to be a character name), I threw it into Google Translate (as one does) and it came up with the translation of 'gods'. Which fits, I guess, with a film about heart transplants.

The polish drama is about the career of Zbigniew Religa in the 1980s, during which he became the first doctor in Poland to successfully transplant a human heart. Before that, however, he had to overcome various obstacles and barriers relating to lack of data in the field, ethical drawbacks (its a grey area), various groups fear of trying such a transplant, misplaced ideas of the outcome (with a new heart, would they still be the same person, or some believe), and so on.

It makes for an engaging drama with a lot of open chests and refreshingly keeps the Cold War-related stuff to a minimum. It's solidly made, if unadventurous in its style, and retains your attention throughout. The unfortunate side effect of watching it was that it did make me feel a little uncomfortable as it (all the exposed hearts) reminded me of the [assumed] bad condition my own heart is in (in terms of physical condition - the assumption is based on my lifestyle and diet. Otherwise, it can yearn for romance all it wants). So I can handle the gore, but I squirm at the thought of the muscle in my chest rotting away.

There were, inevitably, niggles with the film. The music choice, for starters, in some scenes felt out of place/poorly chosen. The there were the moments where the film tries to overdo the drama or include typical bits trying to show the character's humanity. However, the film worked as a whole meaning I could mostly turn a blind eye to those moments. I enjoyed watching it (minus the heart paranoia) and it was a new bit of history to me.


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