Inspired, though not chained to, the second Commandment, Dekalog 2
deals with a hospital consultant (Aleksander Bardini) who lives alone surrounded by his cacti in one of the nondescript apartment complexes. He has a bustling housekeeper. Most of energy is spent on medical matters and he tends critically ill patients such as Andrzej (Olgierd Lukasiewicz). Burdened with possibly terminal cancer a violinist Dorota (Krystyna Janda) his wife is so desperate that she hangs around near the consultant’s flat, even though he only officially sees relatives at 2-5 on Wednesdays.
Dorota is pregnant but not with the child of her husband. So her desperation is not purely for her husband’s cure but for the certainty. In case he regains health she must abort the baby that is someone elses. The consultant and Dorota already know each other under rather unfortunate circumstances( she ran over his dog a few years previously.)
As a physician he invites Dorota in and he explains how difficult it is to make accurate predictions. At the moment all he can counsel is to wait and see,- news, which fails to satisfy Dorota. She is fixated upon obtaining a definitive answer for what is really a moral and psychological problem. The consultant is unwilling to play God just for her. She uses him rather to make a choice between two lives, that of her husband or her unborn child.
Once again, great camera-work and a suitable choice of music form part of the greater whole.
On a snowy Christmas Eve, Janusz (Daniel Olbrychski) a taxi-driver has dressed up as Santa Claus to surprise and delight his children-(an annual tradition).Toting a sack bulging with presents, he stomps merrily into the apartment block where his wife (Joanna Szczepkowska) is delighted. They head off to Midnight Mass. There Janusz briefly spots a familiar face amongst the crowd, that of Ewa (Maria Pakulnis) who had come visiting in the neighborhood.
Later on, Janusz and his wife are disturbed by entry of of Ewa. On the brink of hysteria, Ewa hurriedly explains how her husband has gone missing and that she can’t find him anywhere. Should he help her in such a special night when she could have turned to others as well? Kieslowski in this episode explores with affairs of the heart and their consequences. While Janusz surely loves his family, there was an episode between him and Ewa that had not been fully settled. Things are not what they seem especially when Ewa takes Janusz back to her flat. The dynamics, which guide the actions of the characters are under deep shadows that the past casts on the present, however commendable they may appear to be. The principle actors do a fine job of emoting with each other, expressing the ambiguities and uncertainties of love.
Excellent camerawork is another strength of this part.