Into the Wind review – an overlong romance so dreamy it makes us sleepy

February 11, 2022
Jonathon Wilson 0
Film, Film Reviews, Netflix, Streaming Service
2

Summary

Overlong and predictable, Into the Wind has some charms, but it’s ultimately too bland and inert to really resonate.

2

Summary

Overlong and predictable, Into the Wind has some charms, but it’s ultimately too bland and inert to really resonate.

This review of Into the Wind is spoiler-free. 


It’s impossible to overstate the importance of Netflix and its vast, diverse library of film and television plucked from all over the globe, but it can sometimes feel like it’s throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks. A film like Into the Wind, a Polish romantic drama about a privileged medical school student who falls for the shaggy free-spirited kite-surfing instructor who busses tables at the swanky hotel her family is staying in, feels like it has been created with the help of an algorithm. It’s the kind of safe stocking filler the Big N releases every week so it can brag about how much value for money a subscription offers, but what nobody ever stops to consider is that, artistically speaking, a subscription would offer the same value if you got rid of 80% of everything on there.

Ania (Sonia Mietielica) is pretty, clever, and knows what kind of movie she’s in. She lost her mother five years prior and fell into a crippling depression, so her father, Andre (Marcin Perchu?), is terrified of her slipping back into the same patterns. This strains Andre’s relationship with his new missus, and his friends and their son, who is trying to get with Ania in what is almost an arranged marriage, honestly. It also means he’s petrified when Ania starts spending time with a swarthy kite-surfing instructor named Michal (Jakub Sasak).

Michal has a backstory too. He fell for a rich girl who came to the hotel the previous year but was spurned by her when she returned to normality and fell into a bout of depression himself. Into the Wind treats depression exclusively as a kind of temporary setback, something you go through immediately after trauma and then gradually get over, just so long as you avoid potentially stressful events, like people with allergies checking a menu for peanuts. Michal’s friends try to micromanage his life and relationships in the same way Andre does with Ania, creating an age-old Romeo & Juliet­-style dynamic.

None of this really works, though, since the film is mostly uninterested in exploring either character’s background or present situation, or the socioeconomic differences between their lives. We don’t get many meaningful scenes between Andre and Ania – he mostly fusses her, and at one point climbs through her balcony window because she hasn’t left the room in a couple of days – or Michal and his friends, especially the one Ania believes he’s sleeping with. Instead, we get interminable scenes of Ania and Michal falling for one another, gazing lustily at the horizon and each other, and eventually an elongated love scene that is treated with such aching seriousness that it becomes self-parody. A lot of the film is like that, honestly.

The performances help, at least. Mietielica manages to add contours to her character that the script didn’t provide, and she fills the many moments of silence with an intriguing depth. She’s a good fit for the lead in such a slow burn, especially one that’s so contemplative and dreamlike, and she’s paired well with Sasak, a handsome, charming guy who seems born to play a laidback surfer dude. There’s real chemistry here, so it’s a shame there isn’t much of a movie. Still, a certain type of viewer will probably take to it, and it’s well-intentioned and inoffensive enough to be worth a mild recommendation for die-hard fans of the genre, since it adheres so closely to it. But anyone looking for some surprises and some actual drama will be left sorely disappointed.

You can stream Into the Wind exclusively on Netflix.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.