‘Tonight You’re Sleeping With Me’: A Married Woman Conflicted With Difficult Choices
Robert Wichrowski’s “Tonight You’re Sleeping with Me,” a movie based on Anna Szczypczynska’s novel of the same name, presents a slow-paced but deeply rooted and believable love story between Nina Szklarska (Roma Gasiorowska) and Janek (Maciej Musial). Nina Szklarska is a journalist who, though passionate about her work and caring for her children, finds herself detached from her husband, Maciek (Wojciech Zielinski), who is least worried about her feelings. Maciek does care about Nina but wants everything his way. He doesn’t give Nina the attention she deserves and imposes his terms on her. This leads to a stormy relationship represented craftily by the director through extreme stormy winds in Iceland, where Maciek has gone trekking to understand himself and the boredom he has been experiencing in his marriage. Janek, Nina’s ex-boyfriend, has moved from the Netherlands to Poland for work purposes and accompanies Nina in fashion and lifestyle journaling, which leads to reminiscing about past sweet memories of their love life. Janek gives Nina attention, and therefore she falls for him. “Tonight You’re Sleeping with Me” is loaded with themes that make this movie a real romantic drama.
Marriage And Relationships
Nina and Maciek have been living very happily in Poland, and were blessed with two beautiful angels, Lena and Zuzia. And like in any other relationship, due to familiarity, one loses the love one has for the other as the years pass by. It was similar for Nina and Maciek, who had become distant due to their work schedules and the responsibility of parenthood. They always had qualms as to who would bear the responsibility of the children. Equality was out of the question because Maciek wanted his way out. The trust between them has vanished, and therefore they aren’t informing each other about what they will do next. They almost forget their marriage anniversary.
Relationships are always twisted, and no matter how many self-help books we read, none of them can give us a clear-cut formula for relating to each other. Thus, you find Nina being sarcastic toward her mother, whom she believes might have read a self-help book titled “365 ways you can have a happy marriage” to organize their anniversary celebration. Nina and Maciek are growing apart from each other, and it’s exactly at that moment that Janek arrives to remind her of her past love life. A relationship that was very dear to Nina for sure. Although she was still holding onto those memories, she had tried to move on. But the sudden appearance of Janek and his seductive nature make her fall for him all over again. Tonight You’re Sleeping with Me questions the existence of perfect relationships and perfect marriages. Even the marriage of Nina’s parents wasn’t an ideal one, as her father himself explained to her.
Love Or Lust
Perhaps, when Nina and Janek first met, there was a lot of love and cherishing of fantastic moments, but when they meet a second time in Poland, the director looks like he’s offering us a different perspective on this relationship. Although there is love reiterated between the two, there is also the theme of lust that is exploited vehemently. Right while they ideate for their story, both Janek and Nina discuss ideas related to their body and how it inspires relationships, autonomy, culture, and identity. There is a moment in a restaurant when Nina says that she feels valued, and Janek responds that it’s probably because of the food. Food, for the longest time, has symbolized lust or desire for sensuality. The very direct and commanding words of Janek to Nina, “Tonight You’re Sleeping with Me,” sound lascivious. On another occasion, when they visit a natural spa, they play with each other and take numerous meaningless photographs, where a staff member comments on them, saying that they look good together like a couple in a romantic commercial.
While they walk along the river, Janek tells Nina to move in with him and that they will be able to sleep together whenever they want. Intimacy becomes their main motivation to get together. Nina is trying to find her lost enthusiasm by losing herself to Janek, and Janek, on the other hand, is trying to seduce her into living with him, forgetting her family.
Accepting And Appreciating One’s Body
When the discussion between Janek and Nina begins for their feature story, you notice that Nina is not happy with her body, or to some extent, she hasn’t accepted the scars she has due to her two pregnancies. She makes it evident while getting intimate with Janek. Nina expresses to Janek that he needs to get used to a body with scars since the children she has borne are not his. Janek isn’t bothered in the least about it. He says that those scars do not define her. None of the scars we receive along this journey of life define us, but they do contribute to the experience we gain every moment of our life. Nina approves of the know-how of the scars but hasn’t yet accepted them. She hasn’t made peace with them. The fact that she speaks about them while getting intimate with Janek clarifies that she still is caught up in the past. Nina has not accepted her body as it is. Janek helps her perhaps resolve the body issues, but it isn’t enough.
The Importance Of Parent-Child Relationships
Robert Wichrowski has wonderfully presented a parent-child relationship. You notice Nina’s mother is very strict with her and reminds her of her responsibilities all the time and how she ought to take charge of her life. Despite the constant nagging, the mother also assures Nina that, no matter what happens, she will always be supportive of her decisions. The mother convincingly advises Nina when she expresses that she has fallen in love that she should ‘wait the feeling out.’ She also reminds Nina that independent of her husband she may not be able to make a living. She reminds her that family is one of the most important things in life and that she ought to also think of her beloved children. The mother leaves Nina to think to herself with a beautiful thought: to think wisely and decide. Because if she waits, she will choose to hurt herself, and if she chooses to go, she will be scarred for sure.
The father of Nina too is a gem of a person who advises Nina that although children’s happiness comes before one’s own, it is important to see that the parent is happy. Because if the parent isn’t happy, how will the children be happy? He also tells her that unfulfilled love always grows bitter. Advised beautifully by her parents, the movie ends while saving the family from breaking up and both Nina and Maciek regaining their lost love for each other. The film runs slow, especially when we want action to happen, leaving us to understand that life is a slow and dramatic journey.
First Published on Film Fugitives: Click Here
@Copyright FILM FUGITIVES