This Polish drama starts brilliantly, with an “underwear stampede” – a discount sale in which Poles in their pants do battle over discounted goods. One of the lucky customers is Jacek, a stringy-haired metalhead from deep in the rural heartland. Director Małgorzata Szumowska evocatively sketches Jacek’s village life, all rough edges and tough talk. It’s when Jacek has a workplace accident which leaves him horribly disfigured that the picture loses its way. The message – that people judge by appearances – is a little too obvious and on the nose to be satisfying. And Szumowska overuses a filter that blurs all but the very centre of the frame, an annoying device which makes it feel like we’re watching the film through the wrong end of a telescope.
Wendy Ide is the Observer's chief film critic