Kowalski Image


By Alan Ng | April 4, 2022

Life would be so much less complicated if we could learn to talk to one another. Émile V. Schlesser’s Kowalski is a dark comedy about a family who would rather play one another than tell the truth.

Family matriarch and recent widow Mimi (Josiane Peiffer) is annoyed by the unexpected visit from her son, Jean (Raoul Schlechter), and his pregnant girlfriend, Eva (Titiana Santos). Once a wealthy family, the Kowalski fortune has dwindled, yet Jean hopes to receive some financial help for himself and Eva. On the other hand, Mimi is upset that Jean only comes to visit because it’s the holidays or he needs help. When Mimi refuses his financial request, Jean sneaks into her home late at night, hoping to find something to sell. What he finds changes everything.

“…the Kowalski fortune has dwindled, yet Jean hopes to receive some financial help…”

Kowalski is not just a saga of a family who has fallen into hard times, but a story of a family of grifters playing each other to get what they want. I get the innate appeal. What’s the fun in watching a family be honest with one another? Writer/director Schlesser is brilliant in giving us a vast amount of back story simply through ingenious production design, costumes, and make-up. He’s also equally clever in using family and sentimentality to progress the con. This short comedy is simple, sweet, and has a bite at the end.

For more information, visit the Kowalski official website.

Kowalski (2022)

Directed and Written: Émile V. Schlesser

Starring: Josiane Peiffer, Raoul Schlechter, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Kowalski Image

"…has a bite at the end."

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