The plot is taken directly from the Multiple-Choice Screenwriting Handbook: Marek (Andrzej Chyra) is a cop who is troubled by: a) a failed/unsolved case b) the death of his partner c) bad dreams. This has resulted in his a) drinking problem b) sleeping problem c) drug addiction, and left him estranged from his a) lover, b) children c) co-workers. Assigned to a new case, he starts to have trouble a) separating right from wrong b) discerning dreams from reality c) proving his wild theories to everyone else. Check, check, check.
Palimpest endeavors to be a lot of things, but more than anything, it's various shades of green and black, the only two colors cinematographer Arkadiusz Tomiak was apparently comfortable using. It has the same pea-soup color palette as some of the Saw movies, which is exceptionally boring to look at after about five minutes. Occasionally, Marek has a bout of psychotic vision, and bright whites are actually appealingly startling, but then it's back to the film's turgid visual style. As far as the visions themselves go, they're executed with the finesse of a music video. I didn't hate it, but they're nothing I haven't seen done better in superior movies. Chyra, meanwhile, is a perfectly watchable leading man. I wouldn't call his performance "magnetic" or anything, but his amiable presence is probably what sustained me as the movie drags on.
The ultimate question is, "will he be able to handle the shocking truth?" In cop movies, all truths must be shocking. Sadly, Palimpest's denouement ranks at the very bottom of the shock-o-meter. The second to last scene, post-twist, is actually kind of nice thanks to the performances of Chyra and actress Magdalena Cielecka, but the film insists on ending with one last confusing beat just in case we've forgotten how edgy and intense the film is.
When the movie ended, I wasn't sure I had grasped every last little bit of it, but I don't care enough to see it again and find out. Anyone looking for an unheard of, cool little thriller they can Netflix can keep looking, because there's almost nothing on display here I won't forget by tomorrow.
The Video and Audio