Directed by Kamil Olejnik | Reviewed by Samiksha Periwal
‘Echo’ is a story of terror, crime and trauma. It is an ‘echo’ of the pain one goes through on experiencing devilish incidents in early childhood that keep haunting a person forever. Franck Czarnowski, the protagonist is an overly aggressive cop who spends his life between his vices and addictions. He fails to be the perfect family man because of the kind of job he is involved in and turns out to have a negative reputation even at the police station because of his unusual and radical working methods. His only hope in the police faculty is his superior, commissioner Elizabeth Varone, who understands his behavior and has his back as a friend as a result of working with him over the years.
She finds him suitable for tackling a case of a pedophilia network and believes that his fearless and aggressive attitude would be absolutely appropriate to help her get hold of the criminals. However, this case has a strong connection with Franck’s own terrifying past and to confront one’s own deep dug past is not an easy job. The impact that a little girl’s rescue has on him is much more than he anticipates. He is helped by his only friend and colleague; Gerald in dismantling the case as well as dealing with his own emotional breakdown on recalling his horrifying childhood. The question that now sits in front of him is whether he will be able to forget his past and go on to a brighter future or whether his anxieties will make him weak and emotionally break him down, preventing him from living a calm existence.
One of the central themes of the story is redemption and it is brought about really well through the connection between Franck and the little girl. This incident of Franck saving her proves to be a life changer for him and makes him realize the fact that his life is precious and so is his family. His strong exterior hides a delicate and sensitive heart on the inside, which the audience eventually realizes on seeing him breaks down emotionally later in the movie. Most of the story revolves around the issues of sequestration and prostitution. Pedophilia is a concept that is rarely talked about in the society. It is horrifying and disturbing for most individuals. It does, however, exist, and the anguish that a child goes through as a result is inconceivable to us. Hence, the writers of this narrative must have had a lot of courage to bring up such an issue in the first place.
The script has been written down really well, connecting each character to the story perfectly by piecing together their individual histories as well as emotions and feelings. It is a non-linear film that shows different time frames, keep in mind the continuity and sequencing of the film. Franck Czarnowski, the protagonist, was played by Karol Olejnik, while Elizabeth Varone, the commissioner, was played by Florence Branger and Gerald, Franck’s friend and colleague, was played by Olivier Faursel. The entire cast has performed exceptionally well throughout the film. All of the actors have justified and performed the level of seriousness and clear portrayal of emotions demanded by the screenplay for such a picture pretty well. This has contributed in making the audience feel how real these occurrences are, as well as effectively conveying the film’s message.
The Director, Kamil Olejnik has done a brilliant job in piecing together this film and connecting it to the audiences. For some people, the story might be a bit unsettling, dark and frightening. While watching this film, one will feel a variety of emotions, and it will undoubtedly leave an impact on the brains of the viewers, leaving them some room for retrospection in their lives. The message that it is attempting to convey is really strong and absolutely hits the target by establishing a connection with the viewers at the end.