Cerebral, intimate, and heartfelt are the three keywords that Netflix uses to describe one of its latest Polish shows, Absolute Beginners.
Add to it ‘romance,’ and the series becomes all the more enticing from the outset.
But all of it is just a probable outcome of Absolute Beginners. Does the six-episode-long show deliver on its promises?
Is the romantic drama worth a shot? Here is my review to help you come to a conclusion.
Absolute Beginners Synopsis
Shooting a film to get into a Drama School, two childhood friends meet an aspiring athlete. The union reveals hidden desires, and fans the fire to discover deep sensations.
Created by Nina Lewandowska and Kamila Tarabura, Absolute Beginners features Martyna Byczkowska (Lena), Bartlomiej Deklewa (Niko), Jan Salasinski (Igor), Paulina Krzyzanska (Malwina), Katarzyna Warnke (Tamara), Piotr Witkowski (Dawid), Anna Krotoska (Bogusia), Andrzej Konopka (Pawelek), and Julian Swiezewski (Marcin) in lead roles.
What Works for Absolute Beginners?
Absolute Beginners distinguishes itself through its serene ambiance. Rooted in a genuine exploration of human emotions, the show’s tranquility never descends into monotony.
The narrative’s profound depth stands as a commendable hallmark of this well-intentioned series.
In a way, Absolute Beginners bargains intrigue for authenticity.
It initiates a tale of exploration, similar to what youngsters feel.
It embarks on a journey reminiscent of the uncharted territories of youth. Lena’s unwavering pursuit of life’s myriad pleasures and her dedication to her dreams define her as an absolute beginner in these aspects of life.
Niko grapples with his insecurities, reservations, and the complexities of his identity, forming a significant part of the show’s thematic core.
Igor’s professional stumbling blocks also underscore his own journey as a beginner.
While some may perceive their behaviors as naive, a deeper reflection dispels this notion. It’s a reflection of the way life unfolds, faithfully portrayed on the screen.
Absolute Beginners resonates most profoundly with the younger generation, yet its longevity may pose a challenge.
How are the Performances?
Martyna Byczkowska exudes sweetness and a charming aura in her role as Lena. Even when portraying the slightly morally ambiguous aspects of her character, she never comes across as intimidating.
Byczkowska skillfully crafts an individual who exists in the gray areas of right and wrong. Her expressions are nuanced and contribute significantly to shaping the character’s complexity.
Her strong screen presence is undeniably one of the pillars of strength in Absolute Beginners.
Bartlomiej Deklewa, in the role of Niko, undergoes a noticeable transformation as the series unfolds.
His initially restrained performance gradually evolves, revealing his best work as the character develops.
He masterfully conveys the internal conflicts that define Niko’s journey in Absolute Beginners.
Jan Salasinski is another gem of an actor. With an athletic presence, he fills the series with ecstatic brilliance.
What Doesn’t Work for Absolute Beginners?
As much as I try to be lenient, it is ridiculously tough to ignore the downsides of Absolute Beginners.
The series boasts a captivating core concept with immense potential to resonate with a wide audience.
However, it squanders this potential with lackluster execution, diminishing the allure of its positive aspects.
Absolute Beginners adheres to simplicity, which, at times, feels excessive.
Its unadorned approach strips away the opportunity to evoke deep emotions and maintain a lasting impact.
The series lacks those towering emotional experiences one would typically expect.
While delving deep into the story may reveal its intentions, it leaves you questioning whether depth alone suffices.
The cinematic vitality is overshadowed by the plot’s inflexibility, resulting in a disappointingly humdrum screenplay.
Is Absolute Beginners tedious? Not entirely, but it’s reasonable to anticipate some refinements while watching.
Be prepared for a subdued presentation that never quite reaches the pinnacle of emotional resonance, leaving much in your hands.
Some stimulants were the need of the hour to attract a joyful or intimate vibe.
Stream or Skip?
It can be skipped if you are looking for a fulfilling outing. On the other hand, if a subtle idea is your only goal, Absolute Beginners can be a decent watch for you.