A misanthropic young man plunges into an intense relationship with the daughter of the couple he means to kill.
Marcin has murder on his mind. Not mindless violence nor a random strike, but coldly calculated and narrowly targeted murder. He arrives in Warsaw with eyes only for his intended victims, but when fate drops their daughter in his path instead, what begins as an opportunistic means to access his would-be victims becomes something far more complex.
With an approach that echoes the early work of Toshiaki Toyoda—think the Japanese auteur’s angry youth film PORNO STAR—Polish debutant Krzysztof Skonieczny delivers a visually striking and unsettling portrait of angry youth in HARDKOR DISCO. Skonieczny adamantly refuses to explain to his audience why Marcin is so focused on killing this particular couple, instead employing a remarkably soulful performance from leading man Marcin Kowalczyk to allow Marcin to reflect the angers and fears of the audience. It’s an unsettling choice, one that casts Marcin as something raw and primal and completely separate from the regular rules of cause and effect.
Skonieczny is one of a new wave of European directors, a hugely talented pool of youth who exist seemingly in the intersection of old traditions and the new reality of a globalized world. It’s a position forcing them to create a new language of their own, and what we’re seeing here are the first steps down that path. While it’s not clear yet where that path may ultimately lead, it’s going to be a fascinating trip. (Todd Brown)