For those who are not familiar with Krzysztof Kieslowski's "Decalogue VI", it is about an uninitiated teenager Tomek who spies on a mature, sexually-active woman Magda through his telescope and becomes infatuated. When he finally gathers his courage and declares his love towards her, Magda's cynicism towards love wins over her affection towards Tomek, resulting in his feeling disillusioned and subsequently trying to commit suicide. All that Magda gets from this "love affair" is regret.
To me, the film is about the fragility of love and the consequence of a moment's decision. Love slips away if you do not grasp it. Yet more often than not, you crush love when you try to grasp it. There are many ways to handle love, each leading to a different outcome. But there can be no experiment in life. You make a move and face the consequence.
Magda was appalled by the behaviour of the peeping Tomek. At the same time, she was flattered by the pure love from this young man. And it was obvious that she had a certain affection towards him as well. Yet, in a sexually-charged moment during their date, she decided to teach him a lesson: "so this is love, it's just like this."
Kieslowski's focus in this film was the irony, the contrast between Tomek and Magda, and the reversal of roles. Decalogue VI ends when Tomek told Magda curtly that "I don't spy on you anymore". This ending, according to "Kieslowski on Kieslowski", was "very dry, laconic and also very simple. ... And we know that he really won't spy on her ever again and maybe he won't spy on anybody. And when somebody spies on him, he'll hurt her the same way as Magda hurt him. The television ending is far closer to the view I have of how things really are in life."
Closer than what? Closer than the suggested ending by Grazyna Szapolowska, who played Magda in the film.
Szapolowska's suggestion formed the basis of the cinema version (i.e. "A Short Film About Love"). In Kieslowski's own words, "Possibilities are open, in the cinema version. The ending is such that everything is still possible, although we already know that nothing is possible".
After reading "Kieslowski on Kieslowski", I am quite convinced that the director still preferred "Decalogue VI". I beg to differ. And I would even suggest that the success of his last four films owes much more to "A Short Film About Love" than Decalogue VI.
The turning point in the film, to me, is Magda's blunder. It is thus more artistically convincing that it should switch the focus from Tomek's infatuation towards her in the first half of the story to Magda having to face the consequence of what she did in the second. It is better that Tomek remain silent. Possibilities are open!...Continua