Friday, October 19, 2012

Ekran: Letters To Santa

For many people, the holiday season is one that would rather be forgotten. Instead of joyful laughter, embracing love in its purest form and spending precious time with family and friends, it’s an occasion full of broken-hearts, distant memories and even final departures from this world.

Letters to Santa (Translation: Listy Do M), directed by Mitja Okorn touches on a variety of life subjects that we can personally relate to or at least know of someone who has gone down this road. The first words out of my mouth were “It’s like a Polish version of Love Actually!” If anyone recalls the British romantic-comedy, that is what I’m referring to.

The story itself takes place in Warsaw Poland during the hustle and bustle at Christmas Eve. All of the storylines and characters intersect in an uplifting way, never feeling out of place. We find hope from children’s ingenious methods of madness, realization over one woman’s infidelity, courage from a widowed father, acceptance from a life-changing secret, and more. There was a loveable mix of personalities, all having their own quirks. Sometimes, it’s not the adult cast who win our hearts though, but the children. I can definitely say that the younger cast members did an outstanding job. They were well-suited for the roles, and just adorable to watch on screen.

I think this one is more than just a feel-good movie. It has depth and especially with the comedic interludes, every character has a meaningful contribution. Even with some of its predictability as a majority of romantic-comedies can be, there are some twists, and the serendipitous moments can’t help but give you a warm squishy feeling inside…and some might call that love.

The real highlights of the film definitely had to do with the soundtrack, especially a beautiful version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” sung by musician Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. The lyrics are entirely fitting.

Love isn’t always romantic with violins playing and sparks flying above your head. Sometimes you don’t choose who you fall in love with either, they choose you. It can be messy and complicated, but when you find that missing person (or persons) who fit snug into your world, it truly feels like “the dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true,” just in the most unexpected way.