Directed by Grzegorz Jaroszuk and Jakub Piatek, ‘Dead End’ (also known as ‘Pewnego razu na krajowej jedynce’) is a Netflix dark comedy crime drama series. The plot follows a group of strangers on a road trip together. Their contrasting personality doesn’t make it a pleasant ride. They soon discover that the car isn’t the one they are supposed to be in, and there are two million zlotys in the trunk. They soon realize that the car has been used in a recent bank robbery, and the violent criminal responsible for it will do anything to get the money back.
The narrative of ‘Dead End’ revolves around crime and violence, with the comedy aspects giving it a surrealistic flair. If you are wondering whether ‘Dead End’ is based on actual events, we got you covered.
Is Dead End a True Story?
No, ‘Dead End’ is not based on a true story. The series has been developed from a script by Dorota Trzaska. The central theme of the series is conflict; various characters constantly misunderstand each other, and the situation gets worse from there. For instance, Diana (Maja Wolska) and her father, Leon (Juliusz Chrząstowski), have a misunderstanding due to their mounting financial woes. This prompts them to travel to Cieszyn, a border town in Southern Poland. Diana is a troubled child with a penchant for stealing things, whereas Leon is an alcoholic. He makes his car available for a rideshare app before their travel, and that’s how he and Diana meet the two passengers.
Wojtek (Michał Sikorski) is a 26-year-old directionless young man who pretends to have an Italian heritage whenever he speaks to his long-distance girlfriend in Cieszyn. The initial misunderstanding has bloated into a massive lie from which Wojtek finds he can’t escape. And then, there is Klara (Anna Ilczuk), who breaks up with her boyfriend and heads to her sister’s home in Cieszyn.
All these people meet at a crucial juncture in their lives, which makes declining two million zlotys nearly impossible for them. However, these characters have their own spheres of morality. So, the contradiction between that and their circumstantial desperation adds another layer of conflict to the story.
In themes and execution, the Polish show is bound to remind the audience of some of the better works of the English filmmaker Guy Ritchie, including ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ and ‘Snatch.’ Like those movies, the underlying humor of the script radiates through almost every scene of the six-part first season of the show.
There is a sense of inherent restlessness about almost every character in the series. Each of them is deeply unsatisfied with how their life currently is and wants to make it better. This is true about all four characters mentioned above, the bank robber, and Celina — the sex worker who forces herself into the group after learning about the money.
In certain aspects, ‘Dead End’ also shares some resemblance with quite a few Coen Brothers’ works. The central characters are not the brightest people in the world and often end up doing things that constantly make the situation worse and prove detrimental to their self-interests.
Ultimately. ‘Dead End’ is a Netflix show that flourishes in its limitedness and serves as a perfect vehicle for the creators to criticize the capitalistic society, but it is not based on a true story.
Read More: Where is Netflix’s Dead End Filmed?