Netflix’s moving Polish movie Forgotten Love (Original title: Znachor) tells the story of a father and daughter who have been separated for decades but find their way back together.
Forgotten Love is around a fractured family who are set to reunite years later under very different circumstances. The feature film, also known by its Polish title Znachor, is based on a popular novel from the 1930s. In fact, the story’s coincidental events feel like they could be from any of the older Hindi films, such as Waqt (1965) or Yaadon Ki Baarat (1973).
The principal character of Forgotten Love is acclaimed surgeon Rafal Wilczur (Leszek Lichota), who is distraught when his wife abandons him and returns to her boyfriend, taking their daughter Marysia. He loses his memories after being injured during a mugging. Years later, Marysia, now an orphan, and Rafal, now known as Antonio, find themselves in the same town, unaware of their previous relationship.
Forgotten Love’s story places the father and daughter in a strong rural community where they begin to plant roots. Marysia captures the eye of the dashing Count Leszek (Ignacy Liss), but Antonio’s innate aptitude allows him to heal other people of the community.
There is a historical significance to the film because Forgotten Love demonstrates that quackery is illegal and those who practise it may face imprisonment. The film also explores the rampant antisemitism of the time, since Marysia works at a pub owned by an Orthodox Jewish guy.
Because the film is based on a novel, the events feel like page turners. However, the eventual ending to Forgotten Love felt rushed. The film is 140 minutes long, but after building up the plot, the key event that we’ve been waiting for since the beginning is resolved in a single moment. Perhaps because I’m used to Bollywood melodrama, I expected a larger payoff.
The picture is dedicated to the father of filmmaker Michal Gazda, which is fitting. The filmmaker has done an excellent job of adapting Znachor for the screen. For those who enjoy Downton Abbey and The Gilded Age, Forgotten Love could be the next historical drama to watch. The film is currently available on Netflix.