“The Getaway King” is an action comedy inspired by a true story. It is the story of Zdzisław Najmrodzki, the infamous “king of thieves” and “master of getaways” of the Polish People’s Republic (PRL). Najmro, the main character was perfectly portrayed by Dawid Ogrodnik. 


In his feature debut Mateusz Rakowicz made an attempt to show the best of the PRL’s 1980s. The director in his debut did something that Jan Holoubek wanted to show us in “Rojst”, but thanks to keeping the right proportions, he did it a little bit more efficiently. Rakowicz has given up on stuffing his characters with all possible PRL stereotypes, which makes his work easier to watch and simply more fun. Even though here were some nostalgic journeys to "those times", one can see a greater sense in the overall composition and all the elements of the puzzle create a very good product providing a lot of entertainment. Although at times the atmosphere is a bit exaggerated, it seems kind of obvious that this is exactly how a comedy production about that period of Polish history should look like. 


The technical side of the movie is one of its most complex layers. The over-colored editing with exaggerated use of slow-motion effects at some point becomes more amusing than effective. If the intention of the filmmakers was more humorous than strictly technical, then kudos to them for that, as the number of scenes using this solution was far too many. The problem of the film is also the music, obviously the hit songs from the last two decades of the previous century are excellent, but their use seems somewhat random and does not necessarily harmonize with the scenes on the screen. The "jamming" effects like those of "Mr.Robot" by Sam Esmail are also worth noting. However, as intriguing as the solution is, it cannot be ignored that it does not match the general atmosphere of the movie. 


The film biography of Najmrodzki offers us unique characters, in addition offering their inner transformations and a wide range of dilemmas. Najmro, the main character (played by Dawid Ogrodnik) is used to a life full of freedom, pursuit of splendour and glory, and never-ending getaways from incompetent law enforcement units. Surprisingly for him, all these values fade into the background when he meets a girl, an employee of Rainbow Cinema (Kino Tęcza). He cares about her a lot and wants to change his life completely, but is this really possible provided that he is on the lips of the entire nation and a substantial sum has been set for his head? Najmro's "gang," as the group is called in the movie is composed of diverse characters. Sandra Drzymalska plays Młoda (Young), and Andrzej Andrzejewski plays Teplic. The most difficult character in the group is definitely Antos, portrayed by Jakub Gierszał as difficult, uncompromising, yet extremely dedicated thief. They are followed by the Citizens’ Militia authorities led by Barski (Robert Więckiewicz) and Ujma (Rafał Zawierucha). 


“The Getaway King” is, without any doubt, an extremely enjoyable trip back in time, filled with the elegance and charm of the Polish People's Republic. Despite a few seemingly insignificant shortcomings, the film provides good entertainment and we should leave the cinema filled with positive emotions. It is a very successful debut feature by Mateusz Rakowicz, a debut that raises hopes that we will soon see even better movies by him. In conclusion, the movie about Zdzisław Najmrodzki is funny and effective, but it is far from being an outstanding work. "This is not the time for talk (...)", but for music, chases, burglaries and getaways, and above all for good fun.

Text author
Marcin Telega (transl. Zofia Januszewska-Rusinek)