|Richard Brzostek - 05/05/2008
Marysia I Napoleon (Maria and Napoleon) starts out in modern times (it was made in 1966) with a Frenchman entering a large Polish estate in the country. He finds his way into a room with two portraits on the wall from the early 1800s. The woman he meets at the estate resembles the portrait of Countess Marie Walewska and the other is of Napoleon, which resembles himself. We then learn more about the people in the portraits.
Napoleon (Gustaw Holoubek) is instantly attracted to Countess Marie Walewska (Beata Tyszkiewicz) and peruses her with the power of an emperor. She initially refuses Napoleon's advances because she is married. Maria's husband, who could pass for her grandfather, is tired and a bit senile. Her husband's senile, wavering nature adds a lot of humor to the film.
Marie's refusal doesn't stop Napoleon and their romance becomes a game of cat and mouse. At the urging of many people close to her, she agrees to become Napoleon's mistress. They hope that Marie's actions will help Poland.
The story goes back and forth between the early 1800s and the 1960s. There is a slightly metaphysical side to Marysia I Napoleon. Because the Marie and Napoleon in the present are a refection of those in the past we are left wondering if they are a reincarnation of the famous couple both claim to be descended from. There are a few other mystical details in the film that make it a bit less serious but connect the past and present.
The way Marysia I Napoleon is presented makes it interesting to watch. The story is roughly based on history but has a creative spin that distinguishes it from a serious history film. Marysia I Napoleon is a fun romantic/historical movie with a good amount of humor that may even please the more demanding viewers.
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