This week in theaters and on demand from Saban Films, Lionsgate and director Alexandros Avranas comes a dark tale in a country that is riddled with mystery and “Dark Crimes.”
Tadek (Jim Carrey) is a detective who has been laying low over the years. Taking care of his mother and hardly speaking to his wife, he is barely living himself. That is all about to change when he takes on a case of a businessman who has been murdered. Almost immediately he learns about a man named Kozlow (Marton Csokas), a writer who published a novel about murder that looks familiar to Tadek.
Reading the book, Tadek begins to go to a dark pace and he meets sex worker Kasia (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a woman who knows about Kozlow. She shares with Tadek a world that he never knew existed. He also discovers the involvement of many who are not about to let him ruin their lives. Feeling bad for Kasia’s situation, he also begins to have strong feelings for her and then crosses the line.
When the opportunity finally arises to question Kozlow, Tadek is met with disdain, riddles and accusations. What he thought was an open and shut case drastically turns, bringing more questions and more danger than he could have possibly imagined.
Carrey as Tadek is compelling to watch because this isn’t going to be a full-on character that is full of expression. No, Carrey lets us know from the get go that this man is falling down a rabbit hole, and it seems as if he wants to go willingly. Having the opportunity to investigate a case he believes he has the answers to, Carrey gives this character a broken feel that makes his choices a little insane.
Gainsbourg as Kasia is a woman who is driven by the sexploited underworld that she can not escape from. Knowing the answers to the questions Tadek is asking, she downplays what she knows to protect herself. She is secretive and is just as mysterious as the man Tadek is tracking.
Csokas as Kozlow enjoys playing the cat-and-mouse game with Tadek. He is just as mysterious as Kasia and has no problem sitting in a dark room with him, but it seems it’s more to get information than give answers. Csokas has always played an amazing bad guy character, and this one goes particularly bad.
Other cast include Kati Outinen as Malinowska, Vlad Ivanov as Piotr, Agata Kulesza as Marta, Robert Wieckiewicz as Greger, Piotr Glowacki as Wiktor, Anna Polony as Tadek’s Mother and Zbigniew Zamachowski as Lukasz.
Launched in 2014, Saban Films has built an impressive slate of high-quality feature films in conjunction with Lionsgate. Focusing on talent-driven films, Saban Films tailors each release on the uniqueness of their films that come to VOD release and mid-scale traditional theatricals. For more of what they have to offer, go to www.sabanfilms.com.
The film is based on David Grann’s article “True Crime: A Postmodern Murder Mystery” that appeared in The New Yorker in 2008. He writes that a writer named Krystian Bala killed a businessman in Poland. The crime was investigated by Detective Jacek, but it was only years later after he read a crime novel did he look at the case again.
“Dark Crimes” lives up to its title for many reasons. First, Carrey’s performance is one of the darkest I have seen him do, and it is disturbing as well. This character is caught in a rather mundane life and this case opens up a door for him to be a part of something again. The problem becomes the moment a toe is out of line, it’s quicksand and that’s exactly what happens to this character. Carrey goes all in and it shows.
This is not a happy film in any frame of its 92 minutes. It is deeply stirring and even shot to add the look and feel of a situation that has no happy ending. What made the film for me was I wanted to know where it was going because anything had to be better than the like Tadek was living.
In the end — finding answers only brings more questions.