“Keep Calm”. Nothing is what it seems [RECENZJA]

  • The six-episode series “Keep Calm” was based on the novel by Harlan Coben. This is the second Polish screening of an American writer’s crime fiction. Earlier, in 2020, “In the depths of the forest” was released
  • The series “Keep calm” tells the story of a family drama taking place in one of the exclusive neighborhoods near Warsaw. The news about the disappearance of 18-year-old Adam is disturbed by the quiet life of its inhabitants
  • Can innocent gestures at first glance turn into a tragedy? “The series is more and more addictive with each successive episode, thanks to the well-balanced pace of the narrative”
  • We will see Magdalena Boczarska and Leszek Lichota in the roles of the teenager’s parents, their son will be played by Krzysztof Oleksyn, known e.g. from the series “Rojst ’97”
  • More such texts can be found on the Onet homepage

The title characters Anna (Magdalena Boczarska) and Michał (Leszek Lichota) Barczyks live in a wealthy, seemingly quiet Warsaw estate. She is a doctor, he is a fire safety expert. They have two children, Adam (Krzysztof Oleksyn) and Ola (Dominika Krzemińska). The son is eighteen years old and as the saying goes, little children little trouble, big kids big trouble begins to cause problems for the parents.

The mother, concerned about the teenager’s strange behavior, decides to install a spyware program on his cell phone. Recently, a friend of Adam committed suicide. Is the boy hiding information on this case? When an eighteen-year-old suddenly disappears, the situation changes significantly. His girlfriend and his friends do not know what is happening to him. Adults will get answers to questions they didn’t want to ask before. Soon things get even more confusing, Anna no longer knows who to trust. But this is only the first step to hell: it gets darker from stage to stage, and successive beatings and murder narrow the circle of suspects.

The story born on the pages of the novel by Harlan Coben, the American author of the best-selling novel “Hold Tight”, is only an inspiration for the creators of the series. For the purposes of the script, the content of the book has been modified and adapted to Polish realities. The New York reality of the nouveau riche from the original is transferred to the Warsaw suburbs in the film adaptation. Attentive viewers remember the series from two years ago, based on another novel by Coben, “In the depths of the forest” with Paweł Kopiński (Grzegorz Damięcki) and Laura Goldsztajn (Agnieszka Grochowska). Their heroes return in “Keep calm” as a married couple, and the daughter of Paweł Kaja (Agata Łabno) she is Adam’s girlfriend. Thus, the creators neatly, come in my opinion without much need, combine two Netflix series. If you are tempted to evaluate, the latest series is better.

Magdalena Boczarska in the film "Keep Calm"Magdalena Boczarska in the movie “Keep calm” – Piotr Liwic / Netflix

“Keep Calm” poses the eternal question about the nature of human evil, but also about the fascination with stories about madmen who realize their ideas of fixe. The writers Agata Malesińska and Wojciech Miłoszewski managed to weave the fates of seemingly unrelated heroes. In addition to the parents, their friends, students and teachers at school, as well as policemen solving the puzzle, appear in the background.

The location of the action, an elegant Warsaw housing estate, is not without significance here. Raw, clean, not marked by history. For the mysterious plot, and at the same time the characters’ attempts to find peace, this only seemingly safe space seems ideal. It is a pity that it has been stripped of its flaws, as they would have made the whole story more true. Acting is hard to find. The main role was played by Magdalena Boczarska, a great overprotective mother. Next to her appears, among others Leszek Lichota, Jacek Poniedziałek and Bartłomiej Topa.

The rest of the article is available in the trailer

In this six-episode series by Netflix, directed by Bartosz Konopka and Michał Gazda, the criminal theme comes to the fore. In the background, however, a custom story about relations between adults and children is visible. Most of all, it is about trust or the lack of trust as teenagers become adults.

The series raises questions about parental oversensitivity expressed not only in words but also in action. There are topics of drug abuse, hate at school or addiction to the Internet. The creators make people aware of what parents are ready to do to protect their children and how they influence the perception of the adult world. Can innocent gestures at first glance turn into a tragedy? “Keep calm” with each subsequent episode more and more addictive, thanks to the well-balanced pace of the narrative.


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