Does Netflix’s Feedback Have Any Roots in Reality?

Originally titled, ‘Informacja Zwrotna,’ Netflix’s Polish crime drama show, ‘Feeback,’ delves into a frenzied father’s Odyssey across the streets of Warsaw in search of his missing son. Former Rockstar Marcin Kania lives in a buzzed haze under his alcohol addiction, surviving on royalties from his glory days. However, his life is thrown into chaos when he discovers that no one has been in contact with his son, Piotr, since his last meeting with the ex-musician. As the man tries to piece his memory together of the forgotten night, he’s taken to the dark corners of the city and the human psyche alike in a desperate attempt to rescue his kid.

The show details the fraught journey of an estranged father and a struggling alcoholic who must confront unpleasant facets of himself in his obsessive quest to locate Piotr. The raw authenticity with which the narrative treats Marcin’s predicament, born of his struggles and sins, adds a sentimental touch to the story, heightening the viewer’s ability to relate the story to reality. However, how much of the tale’s origin can truly be traced back to a true story?

Informacja Zwrotna by Jakub Żulczyk

‘Feedback’ is not based on a true story. Instead, the show finds its origins in Jakub Żulczyk’s celebrated Polish novel, ‘Informacja Zwrotna,’ which presents a tale about an alcoholic father’s frantic journey to find his missing son. In adapting the book’s pages to the screen, director Leszek Dawid and screenwriter Kacper Wysocki tinker with the story wherever necessary, equipping creative liberty accordingly. Nevertheless, the show remains faithful to its literary counterpart, exploring the same characters and their similarly unfortunate dispositions.

Żulczyk’s work has a penchant for dark thrillers with deep studies into nuanced familial relationships. For instance, his 2017 crime fiction, ‘Wzgórze Psów,’ similarly set in the volatile Warsaw, depicts the destructive nature of relationships, including the one between a father and their child. However, with ‘Informacja Zwrotna,’ the author is much more interested in showcasing a parent’s desperation to ensure their kids’ well-being and health.

While other labels, such as washed-up rockstar and recovering alcoholic, certainly remain important identifiers in Marcin’s story, his role as a father defines his primary drive throughout the tale. The show retains the same attributes for the character, allowing the audience plenty of room to sympathize and relate with Marcin. In that regard, actor Arkadiusz Jakubik, who essays the role of Marcin, brings irreplaceable realism to the character through his authentic acting.

Although Marcin’s character brings his own set of complications and challenges, Jakubik already had a good handle on select aspects of this character, thanks to his previous roles. In the 2021 Netflix series ‘Klangor,’ Jakubik embodies the role of another desperate father with a missing kid. While his character in ‘Feedback’ and ‘Klangor’ hold their differences in bulk, they also share an intrinsic trait, with the latter seamlessly feeding into the actor’s performance in the former.

Alternatively, Marcin’s journey with alcoholism also proposes an equally realistic aspect of a real-life issue that numerous people deal with on a daily basis. According to statistics, in a year, men consumed 18.4 liters of pure alcohol per capita and women 5.6 liters. In fact, alcohol consumption became such a pressing issue in the country that in 2019, the government proposed to change the ethyl alcohol’s increase excise duty rates to 10% to discourage overconsumption. Even outside of the country, this issue remains a deadly problem, causing three million deaths every year. According to the World Health Organization, the same makes up for about 5.3% of all deaths.

As such, many viewers may see parts of reality reflected in Marcin’s struggles with alcoholism and the various fallouts it caused in his life, including his strained relationship with his family. Likewise, the narrative doesn’t allow the correlation between the former rock star’s fame and addiction to go unnoticed. Many famous names within the music industry or elsewhere have struggled with addiction, oftentimes as a direct reaction to their growing celebrity status.

Although the general public may find this aspect of Marcin as a one-hit-wonder gone wrong, a bit too eccentric to relate to, many might appreciate the facet of reality that this storyline allows the narrative to explore. Therefore, Marcin’s character and circumstances remain rooted in reality despite its lack of tangible connections to the same. Nevertheless, neither the character nor his experiences have a direct basis in real-life people or events. Therefore, ‘Feedback’ remains only a work of fiction, with Żulczyk’s work serving as its primary source of inspiration.

Read More: Feedback: Filming Locations of the Netflix Show