|Richard J. Brzostek - 01/15/2010
The story in Salto begins a day after the war. A man named Karol (Zbigniew Cybulski) jumps off a train and runs into a town he claims he used to live in. He is terrified that they will find him and seeks shelter in the house he says he used to live in. The man at the house (Gustaw Holoubek) doesn't have a good memory and doesn't clearly remember him but is amiable enough to help him and lets him in.
Karol goes by the names Kowalski and Malinowski, claiming this will throw off those chasing him. He is very mysterious. Karol has a lot of monologues in which reveal some details about him. The war has scarred him and haunts him nearly every moment. Watching him interact with the people in this small town is like unraveling a mystery. He knows a couple details about the town but it could be a lucky guess or a coincident. Although no one in town clearly recognizes him, a few vaguely recall him, which also frightens Karol.
The mystery is thicker than an impenetrable fog. The ambiguity takes on an unusual feeling that more resembles the creepiness of a horror movie. The people in this town are also more than a little on the strange side. There are several things that are weird about the town itself that also make it very eerie. It is hard to tell which is more odd, Karol or the whole town.
Salto is a classic post-war film written and directed by Tadeusz Konwicki. It is an unusual or a bizarre film, depending on your perspective. Zbigniew Cybulski's performance is extraordinary and is exemplary of what made him so famous. Salto has an ambiguity about it that will keep you in suspense until the very end.
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