Thanks to savvy lawyers, justice has become ambiguous compared to how it used to be. However, someone decides enough is enough, and some people should die.
|Screenplay By||Patryk Vega, Sylwia Koperska-Mrozinska|
|Date Released (Netflix)||4/22/2020|
|Genre(s)||Action, Crime, Thriller, Non-English|
|Duration||1 Hour, 33 Minutes|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
Detective Helena Rus, a farm girl turned cop, has had the recent displeasure of losing someone she was close to and not getting justice. This fuels her in her work, and while often seen as a hard ass, she is rather efficient. However, as a grandeur serial killer makes their presence known, Helena is forced to work with an uncouth woman named Iwona. The expertise of the latter is central to the possible end to the murders.
If You’re Into Truly Gory Spectacles, You’ll Like This
From bodies ripped apart to people on fire, what will wake you up from the stupor the film can potentially put you in is the violence it offers you. Mind you, this is more of a visual gore than make you flinch kind, but with this being European, you know that means they do it with a touch of pizazz.
On The Fence
Bronson Being Hurt
Helena has a partner named Bronson, who gets injured relatively early in the film. This causes two things to the film’s benefit. The first is, it gets rid of a character who comes off rather annoying. Following that, there is this idea that, in pursuit of this killer, people will get hurt. Now, mind you, we don’t get to know characters enough to the point of being emotionally invested in them, but seeing something happen to someone who appeared as a lead does put you on notice.
The Reasoning Behind The Murders, and Emotions Involved, May Not Click
While you will fully understand why the killer did what they did, and also get to know Helena and understand her personality, I gotta say, it all feels somewhere between heavy-handed and uninspiring. The killer’s motive, especially for while you get why they are dissatisfied and felt the need to do what they did as both justice and a warning, the more you know, the more you almost want to roll your eyes.
The Strange Ways People Jumped Out The Way When Something Was Coming
We’ll admit, this is a petty critique, but I have to note the two occasions in this movie where we watch people comically dodge something. The first time it is a horse, that leads to almost slapstick jumps out the way as if the horse isn’t loud and isn’t running down a straight line. Another occasion is when a barrel is rolling down a hill, and people strangely jump over and maneuver around it.
Mind you, the barrel is moving down a hard surface and surely can be heard. So the way people deal with it just takes you out of the situation and leads to an unexpected laugh.
Would Watch Again? – One and Done
Rating: Mixed (Divisive)
I wouldn’t say “The Plagues of Breslau” is a must-see since, tonally, it just doesn’t give itself the oomph it needs for you to take any of the deaths, or the killer, seriously. It relies heavily on visuals to try to get you interested, and in terms of presenting its villain as a tragic figure, it goes for the cheap shot. Leaving you not feeling like you wasted your time, but I doubt you’ll remember this film within a few months. Especially once quarantine is over.
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“The Plagues of Breslau” Ending Spoilers
We learn Iwona is actually a woman named Magda who either worked for or with each person killed. As for her motive? By either abusing her or silencing her, she wanted justice. Be it against the loan shark who put her family deeper in debt, the one who had her fired within a year of getting her pension, the other boss who she tried to whistleblow on and only ended up being fired, or the boss who made her work 14 hours days. Oh, and to make that last one worst, he’d also lock her into a meat freezer.
As for the last person on her list, the PM, she doesn’t harm him. Rather, she traumatizes him with Helena’s help. How? Well, for the insurance money, Magda tasks Helena with using her head, which she cuts off by guillotine, and putting into a gift which would be going to the prime minister. Thus allowing her kids, both with health issues, to get the money needed so they can be taken care of by their grandmother. Since, on top of everything else, Magda was left by her husband due to their kids’ medical issues, amongst who knows what else.
But, getting to the point, Helena does as asked, since she gets it, for her fiancé was killed by a diplomat, and she didn’t get justice due to diplomatic immunity. So, she not only carries out Magda’s request but seeks out vengeance for her fiancé.
It could be interesting if a film series was made about the brutal reigns of European leaders, beyond Vlad The Impaler, and how they tried to bring justice to their kingdoms. But, if a sequel is done, I would hope for a new cast and backstories that aren’t quick and easy but well developed.