I, Solemly Vow.
Pawlikowski’s black and white anthem is not to be hummed along with but to be listened attentively, persistently and infinitely. This eerie relationship between a girl and her aunt, that has previously been explored in many ways in a side track, is the real truth of the film. Encountering someone for the first time in your life is always a sweet sugar-coated meet, but when someone with bitter language greets you and welcomes you with open arms, you are obliged to be hooked into it. And this is how Pawel Pawlikowski; the co-writer and director, reels you in, in his first act, a long lost elderly relative meeting you by describing you with the references of your parents, is something we can all connect with.
A cinematography that celebrates the authentic busyness and emptiness of other characters’ lifestyle is how the maker is speaking with us. A hitchhiking friend inviting you, a woman asking for the blessings of a child and a man on his deathbed regretting his deeds. These gem like moments aside, Pawlikowski has a poised manner in even crafting out a musical sequence, lost in an abyss feeling, he jarres his viewers with silent pitches.
Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska) our rooting contender, is the familiar nun on the verge of claiming her vows, speaks very little through her words but aplenty with her eyes. Personally, I will be biased to her aunt Wanda played beautifully by Agata Kulesza whose character is simply more cinematic than any other. Brooding, mocking and judging every other person with generous body language, she is the soul reason why the film grows more compact and ironically free too. Ida is a love letter with very little romance in it, it is a ride you should take, that is all, no other bourgeois excuse required.