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Mateusz Damiêcki is a new dimension of the Polish tough guy.  You have to thank the director of “A Simple Matter”

Mateusz Damiêcki is a new dimension of the Polish tough guy. You have to thank the director of “A Simple Matter”

“A Simple Matter” is not just another good Polish crime series. In this production, director Cyprian Olencki once again shows viewers Mateusz Damiêcki in a surprising version. Not only does he appear here in a new light. Various cast members break their stereotypical image. This is, among other things, why this series is so addictive and intriguing.

“A Simple Matter” is a film adaptation of the book by Wojciech Chmielarz, and Cyprian Olencki was responsible for its script and direction. If anyone does not know, it is this filmmaker who entered the hearts of Polish viewers thanks to the famous hit. This meaty and action-packed production surprised, among others, a shocking metamorphosis, who played the unbalanced, very dangerous, tattooed and muscular gangster Golden in an extremely credible role. The cooperation was so fruitful that now both filmmakers met again on the set of the latest Canal+ crime series and once again created a hero who does not fit the actor’s previous image at all, and is also drastically different from what Damięcki showed in “Furioza”.

The creators of “Furioza” made a crime series. This is another breakthrough for Damięcki

In “A Simple Matter”, Mateusz Damięcki plays the role of the Nameless Man, sometimes also called Inco, very convincingly. We meet him when he comes to Jelenia Góra by train with a small backpack to find his friend named Prosty. He knows the address, but doesn’t know how to get there. What’s the problem? Well, instead of a smartphone, he has an antediluvian Nokia. So he asks an attractive waitress from a bar near the station for help. Thanks to her, he finds a suitable apartment building, but the apartment turns out to be empty. However, two necks quickly appear on the spot, looking for the same person. A two-on-one fight breaks out, but the result is the opposite of expected. Our Inco is strong, fast, effective and can easily take down two guys alone. Importantly, he is not the least bit aggressive.

The Nameless One quickly discovers that Prosty is in big trouble with the local mafia, but to find out what exactly, with whom and why, he has to beat the crap out of a lot of people. Damięcki prepared for the role in such a way that he is like a universal soldier, a lonely cowboy dispensing justice and a warrior fighting for morally right causes. Without a hint of exaggeration or irony, he is such a tough guy in cinema that it is difficult to see it, not only in our cinema. Step by step, we discover that he definitely has a difficult past, but he is not a typical guy with a bad history or a detective struggling with his own demons and weaknesses. Not only is he incredibly efficient, but he’s also a devilishly clever tactician, and it’s surprising how, despite all this, he also seems to be a good person. This doesn’t mean that it’s so good that it’s boring. What it is, it is not – it is impressive in its entirety. Both a hero and an actor in his own right.

‘A simple matter’. Mateusz Damięcki and Krzysztof Zalewski Przemo Pączkowski/Canal+

“A simple matter”. Mateusz Damięcki even intimidates his colleagues from the set

I could rave about Damięcki in “A Simple Matter” for a long time. I assure you that the scene from the first episode, in which a bath towel plays an important role, sets a new standard for our action cinema. Not only are the choreography and dynamics perfect, but Mateusz himself is simply great in it all. So that these are not purely girlish delights, let me present a quote from a conversation with Krzysztof Zalewski, who also starred in this production:

Mateusz Damięcki embarrasses me for two reasons. It’s one thing that he’s very handsome, but he can do amazing things with his body. I don’t know how it’s possible, but I guess only professional actors can do it. After years of lifting weights and boxing, I can’t gain more than three kilos, but he can do much more. He told me, for example: “Here I have a scene where the director told me to be big in a T-shirt, so I have to weigh 84 kg, but next week I have a sex scene, so I have to be shirtless. So I will weigh 76 kg.”

He can go from eight kilos to this, eight kilos to that in a week and it’s very easy for him. He explained to me: “Here you simply eat 4.5 thousand calories and a lot of salt, and then you go down to 1,000 calories and get dehydrated.” The extent to which he is able to control his body, even his weight, is unimaginable to me.

Secondly, Mateusz Damięcki embarrasses me with how nice he is. It’s rare to meet such warm-hearted people in life.

I also almost teared up watching the scenes together between Mateusz Damięcki and his dad, Maciej. As it turns out, “A Simple Matter” is the last project in which the actor took part before his death in November 2023. Even though it’s an action series, this sequence is incredibly telling, meaningful, and full of suspense. It is really worth appreciating it not only because of its emotional tone, but also because of the artistry of both actors.

The director of “Furioza” showed off again. “A Simple Thing” is a great piece of cinema

Cyprian Olencki made a very nice revolution in the acting market with this project, and it’s a pleasure to see different people in this series play not according to the so-called conditions, but despite their specialization in the industry. For the first time in her life, Iza Kuna started using a gun for the purposes of “A Simple Matter” and she does it on a grand scale, for which we have to wait until the fourth episode. In turn, Mateusz Więcławek, who still looked like an innocent teenager, became a caring father, ready to take huge risks and make parental sacrifices. The director’s choice is surprising at first, but then more than convincing.

It’s great fun to watch how the angelic-looking Piotr Adamczyk turned into an obese, limping and constantly sweaty boss of the local mafia. The actor even received a prosthesis for a broken nose, an artificial diabetic foot and, apart from gaining some weight, he was equipped with a silicone torso with a protruding belly. However, all this fades into the background when he starts talking and moving as the ruthless Kazik: brutal, a bit primitive and very disturbing. What’s even more disturbing is when the ecstatic man talks to his bride in Russian – he coos so sweetly that it’s suspicious and sinister.

Overall, almost the entire cast here is excellent. Maciej Musiał may sound too intelligent for a local gangus, and Mateusz Kmiecik cannot hide all his nobility, but as the bald Czacha, Kazik’s main henchman, he is excellent, I take my hat off. The only person who doesn’t convince me is Magdalena Wieczorek. I don’t deny it, my reluctance may be related to the fact that she plays a young journalist named Justyna. She is a stereotypically fierce journalist who will get into the biggest trouble for the topic, but she will also remember that she was the best of the year.

It’s more likely that this thread irritates me for so-called (non-)objective reasons, i.e. that the film’s image of journalists is, in my opinion, even funnier than that of Polish lawyers. But never mind, because the rest of what Olencki serves us is so tasty that you can easily forget about what may irritate you.

He didn’t ask them, but his actors gave him references. What did the cast of “A Simple Thing” say about the director?

If you don’t believe me that the series is worth devoting your time to, which is a great achievement of the director, then please see what the cast members of “A Simple Matter” told me about working with Cyprian Olencki during interviews. They didn’t even know it, but they gave him very glowing references. He will be able to show them to others.

REFERENCES FROM THE CAST

I would do anything for Cyprian in any possible situation.

Cyprian is very decisive. I like him a lot and I think he likes me too because I feel that way, so we can afford to do various work-related things. We never argue, but sometimes we have different opinions, which we verify while working. He is focused, consistent and carefully works out his position on the set. There is no other way to be a director. He doesn’t allow himself to be weak and I think that’s good.

He always smiles when I have something to say that he doesn’t necessarily agree with. He achieves what he wants to achieve very effectively, approaching me from different angles. Then I’m surprised that he actually wanted it and that it works so well. So I’m always very curious about what he comes up with. I guess he just has a way with me and knows how to handle all these matters with me, because he really succeeds in doing so

– Iza Kuna

'A simple matter'.  Mateusz Damięcki and Krzysztof Zalewski

I have the impression that when we were making “Furioza”, we both knew that we wanted to work together, because we have quite a similar attitude to work. We like to work hard and try to do it honestly. I’m not saying that others do it dishonestly, but we share a common path, looking at the cinema. (…)

Our main task was to duplicate as little as possible what we had already done, because this is the essence of our work. Cyprian is a man who performs his profession very professionally and this means that he does something different every time, he is not secondary

– Mateusz Damięcki

'A simple matter'.  Mateusz Damięcki and Krzysztof Zalewski

He’s a MEGA great guy and a very nice person. Smiling, cordial. No shouting on set, at least on the days I was there. He hasn’t lost his cool for a second and, above all, he knows exactly what he’s talking about. Which is crucial, I think, considering my little experience on a film set.

The director should know exactly what he wants. Then he helps the actors. You know, for example, I would bring some proposal to the set because my acting coach and I had come up with something. He said, “No, no, no, not like that at all, I want it like this, like this and like this. You have to do it now.” And it’s very good, it’s his vision and his idea, so I was very pleased to work with him. I hope I will have the opportunity to cross paths with him again someday. Maybe with, for example, the third “Furioza”

– Krzysztof Zalewski

'A simple matter'.  Mateusz Damięcki and Krzysztof Zalewski

This was my first meeting with Cyprian, as it later turned out, we had similar areas of interest. I also simply felt that my hero Prosty was a special character for him (…) I suppose that it is a character with whom he empathizes exceptionally and sees a bit of himself in him. I know that Cyprian is a very caring dad and he gave a lot of tips about relationships with kids. He also had an attitude that tried different paths.

He wasn’t stubborn about what it would end up looking like. What I consider a huge value in directing is that he approached everything with great openness, cordiality and curiosity. As if they were interested in me, which is not so obvious, because sometimes you come, you just do tasks and fulfill the director’s vision. And we discussed a lot here

– Mateusz Więcławek

'A simple matter'.  Mateusz Damięcki and Krzysztof Zalewski

Source: Gazeta

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