Recently, there have been a lot of movies and TV shows that have focused their stories in telling the lives of famous criminals. It is not a surprise, as the figure of the noble theft has been imprinted in the minds of almost every culture around the world. We are in 2022, and we are still talking about Robin Hood, these kinds of figures have and will always catch the audiences’ attention.
Why? Why would we be fascinated but the life of these righteous criminals? Well, the reason is actually the same one as to why we are fascinated with superhero movies. It is the same reason why James Bond, Harry Potter, and Batman are considered heroes. Because they go against the norms of society and play by their own rules and make their own path in life, even when every odd is against them.
The recent trend of movies based on these characters has been somewhat lackluster. The filmmaking ends up being generic at best and lazy at worst. The characters themselves are clearly bad people, but they are romanticized to the extreme, and it seems that the shows and movies are just too scared to present these characters as they truly are.
The Getaway King, the new Netflix movie of the week, seems to avoid some of these pitfalls, and manages to deliver an entertaining tale of crime, love, with quite a bit of social commentary. It is without a doubt the most enjoyable and well-made film of the bunch.
The film is directed by Mateusz Rakowicz and stars Dawid Ogrodnik, Masza Wagrocka, Robert Wieckiewicz, and Jakub Gierszal. The film tells the story of one of Poland’s most famous thieves, Zdzislaw Najmrodzki, who managed to escape from authorities around 29 times, getting him the nickname of The Getaway King. The film explores the life of Najmrodzki as he tries to live his life as a thief and also falling in love with a woman that might push him to leave that life behind.
Rakowicz directs the hell out of this movie. The film is filled with stylistic choices, some of them are amazing calls that make the film feel vibrant, and full of energy. Some others make the film feel like it is trying a bit too much to be different. Nevertheless, Rakowicz’s push for style really makes the movie standout from others of similar content.
The style doesn’t amount to much more than making the movie fun to see, though. The story itself feels sometimes disjointed, and it goes around maybe a bit too much. Meaning that there are never really amazing moments that serve as commas in a text. A good movie knows how to travel the peaks and valleys of its story, but here, the story is mostly plain.
Even the last act of the film feels somewhat boring, as if nothing really amazing happens, the climax feels similar to many other moments early in the film and when the ending comes, it feels incomplete. Maybe it was Rakowicz’s fault, or maybe it was the writers’, but the movie doesn’t really have a good payoff to end with.
Fortunately, the movies has a wonderful cast of actors that manage to bring to life some really amazing characters. For example, Ogrodnik plays our main character and the actor seems to be having a lot of fun with the role. He really brings that larger than life factor to the character and makes it believable that someone like that could exist in real life. Ogrodnik’s performance sometimes might be a bit too one note, but there are a couple of moments where he can show his range.
On the other hand, Masza Wagrocka, who plays Tereska is the standout performer in the movie. She brings a sense of playfulness and seriousness that makes her character’s relationship with Najmrodzki instrumental to the movie. You can really feel that Tereska is the type of woman who could end up with a man like Najmrodzki and change his life forever. Wagrocka is really a talent worth checking out in the future.
On a technical level, the movie plays its game with a lot of style as we previously said, but that kind of style could not have been possible without the excellent cinematography and camera work from Jacek Podgórski. The cinematographer ends up capturing some amazing shots and sequences throughout the movie. It might be true that the amber color palette might feel like it overstayed its welcome by the end, but the camerawork and use of slow motion at certain moments compensate for this.
Andrzej Smolik’s score also make waves by being both old and new at the time. The music has this synth wave feeling to it that brings you back to the 80s but also pushes you into the future with amazing sequencer arpeggios that hit exactly where they must. The score really elevates the film quite a bit.
The Getaway Kind is an impressive effort. The film might lack a strong ending and a bit of focus when it comes to its storytelling. However, the characters are fantastic and the presentation of the story is very strong, so much that you might give it a pass on the narrative front. It is well worth a watch.