Polish film, Bartkowiak titled after its lead protagonist, follows the plight of a disgraced MMA fighter, Tomek Bartkowiak. Under unfortunate circumstances, Tomek returns to his hometown and looks after his family nightclub.
Written and directed by Daniel Markowicz, Bartkowiak is a repeated formula thriller that soon transforms into a revenge narrative. It offers nothing unique to withhold viewer’s interest and brings about a simple, easy-to-watch story to screen. The film can be finished off without hustle and forgotten in the next few moments.
‘Bartkowiak’ Plot Summary
The screen opens with a pumping MMA fight between champion Tomek Bartkowiak (Józef Pawłowski) and his arch-enemy, Konrad Repec, aka the Scar. Repec knocks down Tomek, who bleeds unconscious.
Tomek gets banned from the fights for using drugs, and six months later, he starts working as a bouncer in a nightclub, Opium in Zakopane. In Opium, he thrashes a misbehaving famous rapper, Steppy D, and soon becomes renowned on social media sites.
The following day, Tomek’s elder brother, Wiktor, discusses his angst while he leaves Tomek’s cabin house in the woods. The two brothers discuss Tomek’s plans as he reveals to hustle more and get back to the ring as soon as possible.
However, Tomek’s plan faces a setback when he finds out about Wiktor’s sudden car accident, leading to his demise. Tomek returns to his hometown to look after his single mother and sell the family nightclub managed by Wiktor. Tomek finds a suitable buyer but realizes it is a trap in the middle of a hasty deal. He discovers that his brother was murdered and thus stays back to unravel the mystery before he can hit the ring again.
‘Bartkowiak’ Ending Explained
The city’s prestigious construction company, Sanstal, was building a business tower, The Wozny Tower, on the old part of the city. Such development required the large-scale evacuation of present shops or houses, and Sanstal was buying everything in the area. Wiktor’s nightclub, Ring club, was one of them.
When the President of Sanstal approached Tomek to sell off his Ring club for 2 million, Tomek remembered that it was Sanstal’s truck that rammed into Wiktor’s car and led to his death. Tomek got suspicious of their motives and ripped off the contract papers. Later, Tomek’s love interest and his coach Pawel’s daughter, Dominika (Zofia Domalik), informed him about Sanstal that came to her company to get a construction permit to build their prestigious The Wozny Tower. Everything was directly pointing at Sanstal, operating on behalf of another corporate company called Fieldstar Group Limited.
A powerful individual, the head of Fieldstar Group, appointed a notorious hitman Rafał Kołodziejczyk and his nephew Konrad Repec (Tomek’s rival) to empty the area by hook or by crook. When Tomek refused to sell his Club, Kolodziejczyk and his men came after him with all their might. He tried to wreck Tomek’s Ring club, but Tomek brought his MMA friends to match their blows.
Tomek soon realized that everyone was working for Kolodziejczyk, and he had both justice and the system in his pockets. Tomek, Dominika, and Pawel were helpless. Repec killed Tomek’s friends and injured Pawel. Later, he came for Dominika. However, Tomek saved her and their whole brawl and confession got recorded on the new audio-video camera system installed in the Club.
Tomek believed Dominika’s boss, Irek, would help them against Rafał Kołodziejczyk but the invertebrate individual was already planning to sneak away. At Irek’s house, Kołodziejczyk kidnapped Dominika, however, Tomek was saved by his coach Pawel. The duo were aided by Steppy D’s bouncer, Chojecki who helped them rescue Dominika from Kołodziejczyk’s manor.
In the end, Tomek murdered both Konrad and his uncle, Kołodziejczyk, hence finally putting an end to the vengeful hustle.
Three months later, Pawel renovated his gym, became sober, and started training kids for the ring. Tomek became a regular visitor to the sanctuary, who arrived with boxing gloves gifted by his late brother, Wiktor.
What happened to the Club?
Daniel Markowicz left a lot of plot holes that he thought would be filled by its respective audience. While nothing is suggested about the fate of Tomek’s ring club, it was turned into ruins by the end of the film. Tomek returned to boxing, and hence he would have either sold off the Club or handed it over to Dominika, who showed a keen interest and managed the Club with passion. Dominika’s boss was killed, and the company would have seized after that. Hence Dominika could have chosen the Club instead. She would not be short of muscle as her boyfriend and father were both beefing up in the newly renovated gym.
What happened to the Fieldstar Group?
Portraying a terrifying Demeanor, the head of Fieldstar Group shouldn’t have let go of his business tower so quickly. However, it could be theorized that Tomek might have uploaded Repec’s confession video recorded on a CCTV camera. As it was already underlined twice in the film that Tomek was a famous MMA fighter, the clip would have gathered the required media coverage. To avoid further scandal, Fieldstar Group might have dropped the plans for constructing their ambitious Wozny Tower.
Whatever the case might be, it was a happy ending, after all.
Bartkowiak is a 2021 Polish Action Thriller film written and directed by Daniel Markowicz.