Behind The Blue Door is a touching film that takes on delicate subjects and leaves the viewer pondering afterward. I found myself wanting to go back and watch it again immediately. It's a Polish film with subtitles, but I enjoy foreign films, and human emotion is universal. The film is magical and simultaneously heart-wrenching. A sweet boy Lukas is so excited for the holiday with his mother, and it's obvious they have a close, loving relationship. What is supposed to be a grand adventure together is cut tragically short by an accident that leaves his mother in a coma, and Lukas is badly injured.
It's difficult enough to have a terrible accident where one's family member is in a coma, but Lukas also faces the uncertainty of not understanding what that means, and how long it will last, while his father is not in his life to take care of him. While recuperating in one hospital and his mother is in limbo at another, Lukas struggles to heal his leg so he can go see his mother. She is his world and he is determined to be by her side.
It's heartbreaking to see him realize that his mother can't just wake up, and their kind neighbor has to take him in. This would have been fine for a time, but then they receive notice that the home of Lukas and his mother will be taken by the bank if mum doesn't wake up soon. Lukas believes his mother will wake up and be able to work again. But a stranger shows up at the door and changes everything.
Now Lukas must go stay with an aunt that he never knew about and doesn't trust. He's upset because she took Lukas away from where he can visit his mother. They go to Aunt Agata's seaside retreat, which looks mysterious and quite scary at first. Lukas doesn't want to be there and has a hard time opening up to Agata. She tells him what supposedly happened with his dad before he was born, and there is mystery there that's tied to the beautiful sea below the guest house high on the hill. All this is normal storytelling, it seems, but the main adventure is what's behind that blue door to his mom's old room.
Lukas is told to knock on each door before entering a room in this lofty, peculiar seaside cottage. It's more like a small, strange castle. The viewer is uncertain at first if this is a dream or if Lukas is imagining things. We see that the blue door makes a different noise once he knocks on it enough times, and light glows from the cracks in the door, and when he pushes it open, a magical world awaits. He calls it the silver world, and there are birds that talk and plants that make tinkling sounds, and sparkles like glitter floating up from almost everything he touches. We're not sure if this is a safe place or a dangerous one, and he ventures there several times before we discover what's going on in there. 3 children who live near the retreat who at first were teasing Lukas become his companions on the adventure that enfolds.
I don't want to give away what happens because the rest is something to be experienced. But there is a danger in that magical world, and it threatens to affect the real world for Lukas. Meanwhile he is dealing with the uncertainty of his mother's health, and not knowing if he can fully trust his aunt. When the menacing character from the silver magical world finds entry into the real world and seemingly possesses his aunt, things get really creepy and the children have to work together to be brave and not be overcome by the evil. I thought I knew where the film was headed, but then at the end there's a reveal that suddenly had me rethinking everything I thought I knew about what was going on. I love films like this! It's heartwarming and full of love, hope, danger, loneliness, mystery, teamwork, and miracles...but what I really enjoyed was the ending and how unexpected it was. I highly recommend this film. It will stay with me for a long time. The acting is superb, as is the cinematography, editing, sound, direction, and music. I hope this film does really well at festivals. It is superb.