Starring: Alec Utgoff, Maja Ostaszewska, Agata Kulesza
Director: Małgorzata Szumowska, Michał Englert
Running Time: 116 mins
Never Gonna Snow Again (Śniegu już nigdy nie będzie) is a Polish film about a Ukrainian immigrant who works as a masseur for the residents of a wealthy gated community, and soon begins to develop a passionate following for his amazing abilities.
Crafting strong intrigue with a mysterious atmosphere and a magnetic main character, Never Gonna Snow Again is a bizarre but seemingly irresistible watch. With a dynamite lead performance Alec Utgoff, this is a genuinely gripping film, albeit one whose deeper themes don’t always stick the landing.
That said, there’s something about Never Gonna Snow Again that makes it so entertaining even when you don’t know exactly what’s going on. And in the case of some parts of the movie – particularly the final act – I don’t think you’re even meant to know what’s happening.
The big thing that makes this film work so well is its use of atmosphere – with an ingenious blend of dark, ominous vibes that combine with a bit of magical realism to make for an enjoyable but still unsettling watch.
Just like the wealthy residents he works for, you do fall under the spell of the main character, courtesy of a wonderfully charismatic performance from Alec Utgoff, who manages to make a lovable lead presence despite being one of the quieter on-screen personas.
Of course, that reticence plays into his mysterious qualities, something which only makes the film more intriguing. There are some moments where revelations about his true background come to light, although a couple of scenes in that regard take the film’s strange factor up to eleven.
Speaking of being strange, however, nothing trumps the film’s bewildering finale, which I still can’t make head or tail of. Coming to a close in delightfully energetic fashion after a slow build-up, Never Gonna Snow Again comes to what seems like a deliberately abrupt end, which is both entertainingly weird and plain confusing.
The final twist of the tale aims to link into themes about climate change too, although that’s a part of the film that really struggles to make itself known beyond a few sparing comments and the movie’s own title. Perhaps there’s an element of cherishing what you love before it’s gone forever, but those are just my own impressions of what an intriguing abstract ending might mean.
Overall, I had a lot of fun with Never Gonna Snow Again. An enjoyably strange affair that develops with a mysterious, slow pace and crafts an irresistible atmosphere throughout. Bolstered by a fantastic lead performance, the film makes for a gripping watch, although it occasionally takes its themes to rather abstract extremes. So, that’s why I’m giving Never Gonna Snow Again a 7.5.