Watch 11 Minutes
- 1 hr 21 min
11 Minutes is a Polish thriller film directed by Jerzy Skolimowski that premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2015. The movie tells the story of a series of interconnected characters whose lives intersect during the span of 11 minutes. The film opens with a bustling cityscape on a sunny day, transitioning to a shot of a pregnant actress Maria (Paulina Chapko) getting her hair done in a salon. Meanwhile, a man named Andrzej (Wojciech Mecwaldowski) is driving through the city with his girlfriend, and a married couple are arguing in their car. The soundtrack is a constant hum of city noise, adding to the sense of freneticism that runs throughout the film.
The movie employs a triptych narrative structure, following three groups of characters as their worlds collide over the course of 11 minutes. The first story follows Maria, who meets a producer (Richard Dormer) and agrees to audition for his film. Meanwhile, her boyfriend Lukasz (Piotr Glowacki) stumbles upon a lost smartphone on the street and begins scrolling through its contents, eventually stumbling upon a video of his girlfriend that he finds disturbing.
The second story follows Andrzej, a criminal who is tasked with transporting a bag of precious goods to a buyer in the city. His plan goes awry when he gets lost, and he becomes increasingly desperate as he navigates the streets. His storyline is intercut with scenes from a group of EMTs who are called to the site of a car crash, where they must save the life of one of the characters from the third storyline.
The third storyline is centered around the married couple, whose argument reaches a boiling point as they drive through the city. The husband eventually pulls over and leaves the car, setting off on a mission to buy his wife a present. As he weaves through the city, he encounters various other characters from the film in a series of chance encounters.
As the 11 minutes tick by, the movie builds tension as the storylines edge closer and closer to collision. In classic thriller fashion, the film employs various cinematic techniques to ratchet up the suspense, including timed cross-cutting between the different storylines and a ticking clock motif that pops up periodically on the soundtrack.
Despite its complex structure, 11 Minutes never feels overly convoluted or hard to follow. Skolimowski masterfully juggles the various plotlines, weaving them together in a way that feels organic and satisfying. The film also benefits from strong performances across the board, particularly from Chapko as the frantic Maria and Mecwaldowski as the increasingly desperate Andrzej.
In addition to its stylistic flourishes and tense storytelling, 11 Minutes also touches on various themes, including the fleeting nature of time and the interconnectedness of modern life. Though the film is set in Poland, its themes and narrative structure are universal, making it a gripping and thought-provoking watch for audiences around the world.
Overall, 11 Minutes is a smart and stylish thriller that manages to be both intellectually engaging and emotionally resonant. With its intricate web of interconnected characters and tense pacing, the film is sure to keep audiences on the edge of their seats from start to finish.
11 Minutes is a 2016 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 21 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.7 and a MetaScore of 51.