Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Jeremy Irons portrays Nowak, one of four Polish laborers, living in England. In exchange for a place to stay, Irons and his buddies -- none of whom have British work permits -- agree to renovate their landlord's flat within a limited time-frame. Despite their hectic schedule, the boys agree never to work on Sunday: this is the day that they communicate with their loved ones in Poland. On one such Sunday, however, the Soviets declare martial law in Poland, cutting off all telephone and telegraph service to the outside world. Nowak, the only one of the four who speaks English, learns of the turmoil in Poland before his friends do; he decides to keep the news secret, rather than jeopardize their living arrangements. When the flow of money from home ceases, Nowak takes to stealing to finance the renovation project. He pushes his friends mercilessly to make sure the project is completed on time, secretly burning their letters so that they remain in the dark about the Soviet incursion upon their native soil. When they do find out, they physically vent their anger upon Nowak, perceiving him to be as much an enemy and oppressor as the Soviets. This is clearly the allegorical point that director Jerzy Skolimowski is hoping to make in Moonlighting; wisely, he avoids conveying his message in fluent tract, relating his story with generous doses of humor and irony.
allegory, apartment, construction, corruption, cross-cultural-relations, culture-clash, deception, desperation, home-renovation, irony, labor-relations, loneliness, martial-law, Polish [nationality], secrets