Netflix’s ‘I Came By’ is a thriller that begins with a rebellious graffiti artist ending up at the wrong place at the wrong time. He’d intended to send a message to the rich and elite of the society, but he breaks into the house of a very dangerous person, who also happens to be someone that the cops don’t want to lay a hand on. Directed by Babak Anvari, the film is a rollercoaster ride with twists at every turn, showing the audience that anything is possible in this story. It ups the stake with every passing minute, and yet, feels so realistic that it makes one wonder if it was inspired by real life. Is ‘I Came By’ based on a true story? Let’s find out.
Is I Came By Based on Real Events?
No, ‘I Came By’ is not based on real events. It is based on an original screenplay written by Babak Anvari and Namsi Khan. Anvari first had the idea for the film almost two decades before it landed on Netflix. He was interested in portraying class differences and how institutions tend to fail people. All these years later, when he came back to it, he realized that these themes are even more relevant now. “Obviously it’s a work of fiction. I’m taking inspiration from real events and heavily fictionalizing it. As I was developing the script, a lot of things were happening in this country and around the world that was shocking to see. Since the original idea came to me in my early 20s, it’s crazy that these things are still happening in the world,” he told Digital Spy.
While he wanted to tell a story that would start a conversation, his primary motive was to keep the audience hooked and serve them a great watch. He was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock, saying that he “wanted to do double Pyscho’. Aside from the classic thrillers, he also found inspiration in the slasher thrillers of the 90s. One of the key plot points of the film was to keep the cops away from Hector Blake for as long as possible. To make it look realistic, police advisers were brought on board to understand why a cop would not pursue looking into a person, even when they had reasonable doubt.
“If the police get called to a judge’s house, as soon as they find out that it’s a judge, especially a High Court judge, they will immediately be like, ‘OK, there’s only so much we can do.’ There are limitations because there’s still a hierarchy. I found that fascinating. In many ways actually, I think our story gives them a bit more freedom to do things compared to the actual police force because, in reality, things are far more limited and complicated when it comes to these types of investigations,” Anvari explained.
Despite all of its bloodshed and horror, ‘I Came By’ is a story that focuses on the message of people having each other’s back, especially when the institutions that are supposed to protect them won’t. The difference in his perspective from what it used to be when he was 20, the time that he conceived the idea, also helped Anvari put a lot of things in place. “When I was younger, I was more like these angry young men who want to change the world and they don’t know how to do it so it was a lot more earnest, the original idea. As I grew older, I realized that the world doesn’t work like that, things are far more complex,” he added.
At the end of the day, through his film, Anvari wants to hold up the mirror to society and hopes that they are “mindful because it’s hurtful to see”. With all the thought and research that has gone into the film, it is clear that even though ‘I Came By’ is a work of fiction, it keeps itself grounded in reality.
Read More: Where Was Netflix’s I Came By Filmed?