Ticket to the Moon (12th Kinoteka Polish Film Festival) Review
It's 1969, and two things are on Polish TV and radio: the launch of Apollo 11 and the imminent first landing on the Moon, and the celebrations for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Republic of Poland. Adam (Filip Pławiak) loves Danusia (Kaja Walden) but she wants to wait until they are married before they have sex. And she's not willing to wait three years for him until he can leave the armed forces. Wanting to join the air force, Adam is drafted into the navy. Adam and his older brother Antoni (Mateusz Kościukiewicz) have to travel across Poland to the naval base at Świnoujscie. Antoni's plan is to relieve Adam of his virginity...
Ticket to the Moon (which the screener copy I'm reviewing actually calls One Way Ticket to the Moon, after the song which appears in two versions here – the original-language title is Bilet na Księżyc) is a fairly standard, fairly engaging coming-of-age piece made more out of the ordinary by its setting in Eastern Europe during the years when it was behind the Iron Curtain. The film, written and directed by Jacek Bromski, doesn't belabour the limited freedoms Poles had at the time, but they're certainly there: it's quite possible that they may be more overt to local audiences than they were to this non-Pole. They give a context for Adam's actions in the film's last hour, which turns what is essentially a light comedy in a different direction I won't reveal. Up to that point, Ticket to the Moon is a picaresque narrative, with Adam and Antoni meeting both old friends and newcomers along their journey across the country. The period detail isn't overdone either, though while I'm mentioning music used, I should point out that Fox's song “Only You Can” actually dates from 1975.
Ticket to the Moon is pleasant enough, and perfectly watchable for the two hours it's on, but ultimately it's rather too lightweight for its own good. It doesn't linger in the memory for very long.
Ticket to the Moon shows in the 12th Kinoteka Polish Film Festival in London. It will have a UK cinema release via Project London Films.