The psychological thriller “Fisheye” is a distinct representation of modern Polish cinema. Directed by Michal Szczesniak, most of the film’s action takes place in one interior room. The end result is a claustrophobic mystery that’s disturbing and unsettling.
After making a groundbreaking discovery that may provide the cure for lung cancer, scientist Anna (Julia Kijowska) is kidnapped outside her apartment. Held in isolation in a tiny room, Anna realizes she’s now a prisoner living in captivity. Her kidnapper communicates with her through a speaker, and Anna’s only connection to the outside world is a small fisheye lens that’s hidden in the wall.
When the woman peeks into the lens, she can see that her cell is adjacent to her own apartment. Anna watches and listens as her friends and partner discuss her mental state while trying to solve her disappearance. With her sanity quickly fading, Anna learns some disturbing family history and is forced to face a dark secret long buried in her psyche.
“Fisheye” reminds me of a hybrid of “Room” and “Berlin Syndrome.” It’s focused more on the mental breakdown of a suicidal woman rather than giving a satisfying answer to the “why?” of the story. There isn’t much left open to interpretation, and the final reveal is plausible enough. But despite the engaging premise, the film’s slow, deliberate pacing is hard to endure.
By: Louisa Moore