The Silence of the Exile
Doug Anderson | Miami Beach, Florida United States | 02/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jeremy Irons plays a man in a state of exile, a Pole living in England. He has not altogether left his country, he's only come to England to work as a go-between who hires cheap Polish laborers to do jobs for frugal English clients. Irons has a wife back home in Poland but makes more money in England than he ever could at home so he stays and grows ever more isolated from his homeland. When a new batch of workers arrive he greets them at the airport and escorts them to their living quarters and tends to their every need. This is the status quo he lives in. And one suspects he prefers stable old England to the instability of his homeland. His life is secure if at times lonely. We see his wife only as a picture that he has pinned to the wall above his bed. One day he notices that events in Poland have taken a turn for the worse. He knows if he tells the men this news they will want to return immediately so he hides the newspaper deciding to hide the news from the men as long as it takes to finish the job. This dishonesty is nothing less than a betrayal. And he knows it. We know this act is despicable and yet we also know what motivates it. Irons wants to preserve the only order he knows. He is not necessarily close to any of the men nor does he share any sense of community with them nor does he express any sort of sentiment about Poland, he is a loner and yet to preserve his sense of order he is forced into this treachery. And once he begins lying to the men his treachery knows no bounds--he does whatever is necessary to preserve the illusion to his men(and himself) that things are just fine. It is only a matter of time til the inevitable confrontation will come when his men find out that he has lied to them. And the confrontation like everything else in this film is subtle and memorable and poignant. Along the way we hear Irons thoughts about what he is doing and it is facinating to see this man do what he does all the while knowing full well what the consequences will be. Powerful acting performance by Irons as this man whose loyalties are no longer certain."
Superb Independent British Film
Doug Anderson | 01/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Despite the people who think this film has anything to do with the TV show, I believe that this film will be remembered as Jeremy Irons best work to date. It is an understated and fascinating film about 4 Polish workers who come to London to renovate (illegally) their boss' condo. This was made in 1982 after the Soviet crackdown on Solidarity. If the first 10 minutes of the film (masterfully directed) don't hook you then you'll be missing one of the best films made in the 1980's. Read ANY film critic's review."
Great film deserves better treatment
Daryl Chin | Bklyn, NY USA | 01/09/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a bare-bones DVD release of one of the best films by the Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski. Unlike his compatriots Andrzei Wadja and Roman Polanski (both of whom he collaborated with), Skolimowski did not become as famous, though he made a number of films of great distinction in a nomadic international career. MOONLIGHTING is one of his best movies, and this study of immigrant Polish workers in London remains a prescient political allegory, so it's unfortunate that there are not more extensive supplements to help explain the film's background and to discuss the many levels of meaning in the film."
John | West Coast | 07/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I didn't think that Jeremy Irons could pull off portraying a Polish worker but he does an excellent job. Irons is a foreman who along with several other Poles travel to London for work. While there, all sorts of turmoil develop back home to which Irons purposely does not relay any of the news back to his fellow countrymen. This is a great historical period piece as we hear and learn about the changes in Polish society but we actually see it in action, albeit on a very small scale, among Irons and his workers. In fact, the situation back home and the small world in which these Polish migrants find themselves in tend to parallel each other."