It is always entertaining to see a film that features a mighty gangster’s rise to power from a gruesome childhood to being a powerful influence over crime and illegal activities in an area. Moreover, any good story has something at stake that drives the motivations of the central character. Maciej Kawulski’s Polish crime thriller movie ‘How I Became A Gangster’ presents such a gripping story. Originally titled ‘Jak zostalem gangsterem. ‘Historia prawdziwa,’ the 2020 Netflix movie charts a gangster’s experiences in the Polish mafia.
The career and work trajectory of the gangster reflects the inner dealings and operations of Warsaw’s criminal underworld. The protagonist is a violent and cunning man who wants to be the most powerful person in the country. The twists and turns are intriguing, and so are the gangster’s questionable means to succeed. The criminal business is hard to crack, but the protagonist does it well with a sound mind and his deceptive ways. At the end of the day, he is just hungry for more money and has a thirst to be the best. If you’re left wondering how such a story came to be, you’re in the right place, as we have the answers!
Is How I Became a Gangster a True Story?
Yes, ‘How I Became a Gangster’ is based on real events. It portrays some authentic aspects of the mafia and the underworld in Poland. Furthermore, the gangster’s quest for power is genuine in its portrayal, and so is the real journey undertaken by a gangster. It narrates the story of a child with an aspiration to become a gangster to actually become an extremely influential one. Krzysztof Gureczny has penned the screenplay that is inspired by a thug’s real life.
The true story has amalgamated elements from various facets of the criminal world. Love, friendship, dreams, and betrayal are depicted honestly as the plot progresses. The gangster has to make a difficult choice because of the position he is thrust into. His life unravels because of someone else’s mistake, and he is left to pick up the pieces. Moreover, a mafia man’s life would be incomplete without dabbling in drugs and sex. That’s exactly what the protagonist does from time to time. He finds the love of his life but still continues to consolidate his position on top.
Along the way, the gangster also collects a ragtag group of men who can put up a mean fight. The honest elements of friendship and a lifelike journey of a gangster pose the question of the movie’s authenticity. The events shown in the movie actually happened. Some details are changed for the safety of the survivors and out of respect for the dead. The portrayal of a gangster’s life and experiences is real, despite a few exaggerations and cliches.
The director touched upon this element in an interview, saying, “I got the script and understood that for the first time in Polish cinema, the life of a gangster was told, not interpreted. And it’s not because of people who say they knew, were, and saw, but because of him. I realized that I was not reading another script from the trial but a beautiful story about the love and friendship of a cruel man who, however, survived mainly because he was capable of feelings. It’s 40 years of life in a two-hour picture, in such a way that you don’t feel unsatisfied or too full for a moment.”
The altered details make it harder for us to know who is the central character in real life. However, the movie does a splendid job of giving us a glimpse into the life of a Polish gangster. Taking everything into consideration, we reiterate that the narrative of ‘How I Became a Gangster’ is actually rooted in reality.