A teacher's personal quest to find the truth behind a student's death reveals a disturbing trail of political and big business corruption in this tense and enthralling Polish thriller. From Walter Presents, in Polish with English subtitles.
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Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2019
Just when I thought I 'knew" whodunnit, what was coming next, etc., etc... Just when I thought the series was a little too much for itself and maybe wasn't going to be coherent after all, it would surprise me and come in with a one-two punch. Acting: brilliant. Writing: Excellent narrative and dialogue. Story: binge-worthy. Atmosphere: super, from chic to spooky. Setting: Perfect. Bratislava, Poland. (I love series in places I know little about, have to look them up, explore on Google Earth). Great scenery, clothes, interiors (chic to shabby) and in the end a universal whodunnit after all, with a shocking ending (though I did consider it, especially the motive, from the start, silly me, 'cause there were so many intriguing suspects). The final scene promises a yummy new crime puzzle for the iconic detective-"Teacher "- oh, about him. We come to love him, because he is a good, and yes, tragic person, who both cares for and knows how to handle his students in a respectful but confident manner. Oh, and for good measure: he teaches great literature, with lots of quotes; this film promotes reading. You won't be disappointed.
The premise of a replacement teacher, new to town - replaces a never explained previous teacher- who also happens to be: The illegitimate father of the murdered girl; Somehow an investigation expert with hand to hand fighting skills; Also seduces the most powerful and corrupt man in town's wife; And plays the role as ' Just another new teacher in town" is ridiculous. Further, it just gets more incomprehensible as he's allowed to access the towns dirty little secrets while the corrupt police chief just isn't aware or bothering to interfere with the 'Ordinary Teacher" (who kicks the crap out of every Thug in town at least once). This guy is part: Super detective, Literature PhD, Psychologist and James Bond yet also an unassuming replacement "Teacher" from Warsaw. Adding intertwined yet mostly irrelevant other relationships and plot foot-dragging just got so stupid I had to bail after 5 episodes -( but should have been gone by episode 3.)
Just goes to show that Americans don't have a monopoly on arcane, trash TV!
I liked the story line. I liked the characters. I liked the fast action of the constant U-turns and false paths the "detective" was on.
I disliked that they dragged it on too long. 10 episodes of head-fakes gets old. After 7 episodes i was ready to throw in the towel. Uniformity and flow of the story line started to waiver thru episodes 8-10.
On the whole, a great show to watch. Lots of turns and head fakes, but the show carried on too long and grew tiresome towards the end. I dont see one missing any major details from skipping from episode 7 to 10, cuz its just more head fakes and misleading guilty characters. It all gets summed up nicely in episode 10.
This is a high quality production all the way around. Great story, setting, actors, costumes. The most menacing businessman character I've seen in a long while (the Dad with glasses). It's a mix of characters with interwoven storylines: there are thugs, high school kids, corrupt officials, broken down adults, cheating spouses, and tough guys. And there's the teacher with a past who spends all his time trying to figure things out. Watch it!
I am already on Season 2. This is one of the best Walter Presents on Masterpiece. The stories mostly focus on high school age students, but the stories are far more complex than a teen drama. It is also interesting to learn a bit about Poland. I find myself excited about the next episode.
The series was worth watching. Why? Good directing, good acting, the plot was nice and twisty, and it had a satisfying end. In some countries, movies have warnings that there will be a lot of smoking. This show would definitely have that warning. I would not mind if there was a second season.