Michal (Jakub Gierszal) and Karina’s (Magdalena Berus) passionate love affair while on break from college ends poorly when Michal makes a horrible mistake while accidentally trespassing on private property. The kind of mistake you can’t fix, things only become more complicated when Michal and Karina return to school in Poland, and Michal comes clean. Unfortunately, Karina has a secret too, and Michal’s confession has made her own more difficult to share.
Employing a somber tone amid some gorgeous scenery, especially in the film’s vacation elements, Lasting manages to tell a complex story of the end of love’s innocence. Michal and Karina are not bad people, but they are immature and unsure of how to handle their problems when they come up; both make the mistake of retreating into themselves, and the result is the alienation of the other.
Realistically, of course, relationships begin and end in passionate flame-on and flame-outs all the time. There’s an inherent tragedy of youth to make each adventure in love a big deal; in this case, reality is delivering a number of severe scenarios for the two to handle, and the tragedy is that their caring for each other could be where they can find the most strength, but they don’t know how to utilize that variation of love yet.
While I enjoy the look of the film, and the deliberate pace of the edit, I also appreciated the symmetry of Michal and Karina’s relationships to their extended family. Michal finds himself counseled most often by his mother, particularly in the opening half of the film which could be considered his tale, while the second half of the narrative predominantly belongs to Karina, and she finds solace with the counsel of her father. It makes for a narrative balance that appears separate even though the tales play out simultaneously.