Piotr Więckowski’s movie Dopado deals with the fragile balances that take place on the inside of a family. The triangle that constitutes the family of the movie is a mother, a father, and their young daughter. The roles inside the house are playing with the dominant societal stereotypes: it is night and the father tries to make his daughter go to sleep while his wife is working. From the very beginning of the movie, we can sense that something is not right.
In the first scene, we witness, with a remarkable tenderness, the young man singing to his daughter in order to make her sleep. The songs are both in French and Polish (the two countries of the director). The girl’s playful mood does not allow the sleep to come. The young man betrays his bitterness when he answers her question of where is mum, with “mum is working”.
While the movie moves forward, we dive deeper into the secrets of the household. The phone rings and we witness the rough reality of life unfold. The perception of a perfect family collapses. The man’s psychology and behavior change. He gets out of control against his daughter, he cannot manage his frustration.
The performance of the father is worth a special mention, his sentimental situation passes from the patient and caring father to a man out of control. The clear connections showing his change in behavior make the audience easily empathetic. Even though his behavior becomes aggressive, it is hard to be judgmental with him. The performance of the young girl is spontaneous and adorable, a reminder that kids are always the innocent victims.
Music is a fundamental framework of the movie. The kid’s songs are connecting us with the untold feelings and blurry memories of our youth. Dopado is a strong movie, clear and honest- a painting of human nature.