Creator: Wiktor Piatkowski
Cast: Leszek Lichota, Bartlomiej Topa, Aleksandra Poplawska, Magdalena Poplawska, Andrzej Zielinski, Dagmara Bak, Macliej Mikolajczyk
Running Time: 270 minutes
There’s certainly a very topical edge to this Polish drama concerning the Border Guard across the Poland and Ukranian border. We follow Captain Wiktor Rebrow (Lichota), the sole survivor after a bombing aimed at him and his colleagues, who comes under scrutiny from the State Prosecutor (Poplawska) but protests his innocence as the mystery behind the bombing and other criminal activities along the border come to the forefront.
As the conspiracy elements play out over the six-episode series, the focus shifts from being a look at the people involved in the dangers of illegally crossing the border, to those who orchestrate it for their own gains. It does feel like an oppourtunity missed, but the decision to handle something so delicate as immigration is not one to take lightly and the series does keep a singular focus upon it through new recruit Natalie Tatarkiewicz (Poplawska), arguably the best secondary character.
Alas, the plot remains focussed on Rebrow as he attempts to put his life back together after the explosion and deals with accusations about his involvement in it. The series has two distinct halves; the first three episodes does all the building and then the final three do all the revealing. The tactic works really well. Characters and agenda’s are built throughout and then paid-off in an almost satisfactory manner. The series crosses many thematic borders, at times it’s a thriller with Rebrow at the center but at others it’s an action/crime series as more strands are brought into the proceedings which, at times, only serves to make things confusing.
Episodes three and four are the high points for this series and the finale, whilst letting the final confrontations unravel, feels lacklustre as the now omnipresent leave-the-door-open ending it swung open and we don’t really get the big answer we’re looking for. Overall, however, THE BORDER is a decent series and hits many peaks along its run but can’t level them off for the finished article.
THE BORDER is released on DVD on Monday 5th September by Nordic Noir & Beyond.