AMBASSADA – Bartosz Chajdecki
Original Review by Jonathan Broxton
Ambassada is a Polish science fiction comedy film written and directed by Juliusz Machulski, about a young couple who move into a new apartment building, only to find that the building’s elevator is actually a time machine; using the machine, the couple find themselves going back in time to the 1940s and coming face-to-face with none other than Adolf Hitler! Yes, it is a comedy – it stars Magdalena Grąziowska, Bartosz Porczyk and Robert Więckiewicz, and has a score by one of the young rising stars of Polish film music, Bartosz Chajdecki.
The score is an interesting mix of contemporary jazz and large-scale science fiction action, which sounds like it shouldn’t work at all, but actually does. The opening cue, “Kosmopolityczny-Wood” introduces the Cosmopolitan theme, a fun piece of jazz, with a bouncy trumpet line offset by an accordion, piano and stand-up bass, which introduces the main characters and their deft comedic natures. “Żydowski Szybki” brings a hint of Jewish-Polish folk music into the score with a whirligig dance for harpsichord and strings, while “Woln Spokój”, “Holly” and the flamboyant finale “Nalewki Zmontowane“ return later in the score to revisit the jazz flavors of the opening cue.
However, the score often switches gears entirely, presenting much more dramatic and action-flavored music, as the two protagonists embark on their fantastical adventure. “Sci-Fi” is a strident and dramatic piece with a powerful, driving main theme, a pseudo-James Hornerish choral element right out of A Beautiful Mind, and an interlude for solo harpsichord underpinned with a tick-tock effect illustrating the time travel element of the story. “Marsz” features the first performance of an enormous and very dark march straight out of Gustav Holst’s playbook, a portentous and menacing portrayal of the film’s Nazi antagonists, which returns later in “Przyjazd Ribbentropa” and the thunderous “Bombardowanie”; the latter piece blends the Nazi march and the Sci-Fi theme to excellent effect. Both “Tajemniczy Długi” and “Odkrycie” return to the harpsichord motif, while the clockwise percussion comes more to the fore, in moments of tension and suspense.
Unfortunately the score for Ambassada is not available for commercial purchase at this time – just a promo provided by Chajdecki for promotional and award consideration purchases – but should it ever appear on the market, I would unhesitatingly recommend it.
- Kosmopolityczny – Wood (2:20)
- Sci-Fi (2:44)
- Przesluchanie Hitlera (1:59)
- Żydowski Szybki (2:18)
- Kosmopolityczny – Woln Spokój (1:49)
- Marsz (2:53)
- Tajemniczy Długi (3:00)
- Narada Winda Enigma (1:42)
- Żydowski Wolny (2:59)
- Kosmopolityczny – Holly (2:19)
- Przyjazd Ribbentropa (1:45)
- Przechwycenie Enigmy (2:18)
- Strzelanina Enigma (1:36)
- Odkrycie (1:24)
- Bombardowanie (4:16)
- Nalewki Zmontowane (3:11)
Running Time: 38 minutes 33 seconds