Polish action thriller film ‘Furioza’ explores the dark depths of football hooliganism and gang warfare that is seemingly not too uncommon among the youths of certain regions of the country. It is, however, the sense of brotherhood, both by blood and by choice, that is the central focus of the film. When a group of men stick together in moments of extreme and violent danger, they are bound to consider each other brothers, until cold-blooded betrayal strikes, of course. With ample fight scenes played out intelligently and a plot that keeps one engaged, Cyprian T. Olencki’s directorial film is a recommendable watch for those into the action genre.
‘Furioza’ Plot Summary
Dawid is a doctor at a hospital but with a dark past—he was once part of a notorious football hooligan club called Furioza, which is still led by his brother Kashubian. After growing up amidst gang violence and seeing deaths in front of his eyes, Dawid decided to be done with that life and now aims to save lives.
One day at work, he is surprised to see his ex-lover, Dzika, come to get fresh wounds treated. Dzika had also been a member of the club until something seemingly went terribly wrong, and she disappeared. The doctor is even more surprised when she pulls out her police ID and says that she is visiting Kashubian. The new police enforcement has decided to bring down notorious gangs in the city, and Furioza understandably tops the list.
In return, Dzika wants Dawid to go back to the club as an informer for the police to help them bring it down. She would also provide safety to his brother. Although he outright denies snitching out on the people who were his entire world till that point in time, the thought of Kashubian’s safety convinces Dawid to take up the endeavor. He returns to the club as the Furioza members beat another gang in a wrestling scramble, and the next day he visits his brother’s family. Although Kashubian does not mind his brother’s return as much, not all gang members are fine with it, especially a hotheaded and passionate member known as Golden. It is clear that the two men have some history.
The Furiozas prepare for a brawl with their rival gang, the Antmen, while the police plot a plan to stop and arrest them en route. But the gang manages to cleverly dupe the authorities with the use of a planned decoy, reach their destination, and win the fight. Dawid treats one of the severely injured members back to health, and this earns him back the trust of his brother.
Golden is still not very convinced though, as their past is revealed: some years ago, Dawid, Golden, and a younger member named Daro went into a brawl in which Daro had been stabbed by one of the rivals with his own knife, and Dawid was too shocked to react and just stood still as his friends were heavily beaten, leading to Daro’s death. This incident went on to change three lives—Golden decided to be lifelong involved with the Furiozas, Dawid decided to leave that life and pursue medicine, and Daro’s sister Dzika left Dawid and the Furiozas to ultimately join the police force.
Major Spoilers Ahead
How Does Dawid Fit Back Into The Life Of Violence To Save His Brother?
When a dead body is recovered, subjected to gang violence, the police start to apply more pressure by cracking down on the gangs. Their primary focus is to put Antman, a gang leader also making serious business out of drug trafficking, behind bars, and they intend to reach him through the Furiozas and especially through Golden, who is suspected to be involved with Antman. They arrest members of both the gangs as part of the murder investigation, but are unable to get any word out from them. Although it becomes unofficially clear that Antman had something to do with the murder, his efficient lawyer is able to get him out of any trouble.
After getting released, the Furiozas visit a football match and cause havoc when they are not allowed to enter. Fighting their way through police barricades, they are immensely helped by the presence of Dawid. As final proof of his loyalty, Dawid is sent on a mission to retrieve another rival gang’s flag from its members aboard a train, and he successfully carries it off, beating two gang members. In the meantime, he has again grown close to Dzika, who now wants him out of such a dangerous job of walking on both sides.
After some days, Golden strikes up a deal with Antman over the illicit trading of cocaine, and Kashubian and Dawid follow him, suspecting his actions. However, the police got a whiff of the act and set up a plan to arrest Golden. In order to save their fellow brothers, Kashubian intercepts Golden and rides with him to Antman, while Dawid gets himself arrested.
At the drug handover, Antman and a bigger drug lord, Polanski, insult Kashubian and Golden, and the Furiozas announce they won’t work on any such deals anymore. Kashubian tries to explain to Golden the unnecessary risks of running drugs, while on the other hand, Antman prepares to set up his own pipeline of drug trafficking across Europe. In an effort to move Kashubian away from gang life, Dawid tells him that he has been working with the police, and his brother disappointedly says that he did suspect this from the beginning.
Although the two brothers part ways in fury, Kashubian calls Dawid that night and leaves a voicemail asking for forgiveness and acknowledging his efforts to save him. He is still on the call in his car when he is attacked by a group of masked men who chase him and pin him down. Kashubian is then stabbed to death with a pitchfork. We do not see the face of the person but the weapon is one that Antman regularly uses in his misdeeds.
Dawid’s cool-headed and composed manner is of great benefit to the Furiozas, most of whom are very temperamental and readily aggressive, and this does not make it too difficult for him to return to his previous lifestyle. He is visibly much less expressive or outspoken than his other mates, and that works quite well in his favor. It is not that Dawid’s intentions are to help the police, but rather to bring his brother out.
The tragedy of Daro’s death would probably never leave Dawid’s conscience, but he puts a lot of effort into balancing out his actions by helping someone out when he still has the opportunity to do so. Dzika also understands Dawid’s struggle, much like most other gang members, and tries to help him out of the situation. Tragically, it is because of spending an intimate evening with Dzika that Dawid is unable to receive his brother’s last call, and he tries his best to save him once he listens to the message, but it is too late by then.
‘Furioza’ Ending Explained: What Happens To The Gang? Is Dawid Dead?
Although the gang immediately wants to avenge Kashubian’s death by attacking Antman, Golden convinces them to not act right away, as it might land them in trouble. With time, they get hold of Polanski and his men and kill them off. Golden now gets directly involved in drug trafficking and starts to make a fortune for himself. Antman approaches him for a potential business partnership, and Golden agrees to it in order to get even richer. But all hell breaks loose when the police are able to retrieve security camera footage from the night of Kashubian’s murder. It is revealed that it was actually Golden who had killed his leader with a pitchfork to make it look like Antman’s work. He is quickly arrested, but Dzika is immensely angered by the fact that her superior makes a deal with Golden in order to reach Antman. Furious to the point of not caring about her job anymore, she makes sure that the video footage reaches the Furioza gang members.
In the act of avenging their leader’s death, the gang members beat and stabbed Golden to death while making sure that Dawid flees the scene without any trouble, also assisted by Dzika. The members do not fight back against the police and get themselves arrested, as they find it an honor and also know that their families will be provided for by their club. Dawid lives a life of peace with Dzika (who has lost her job at the police force), and also keeps close touch with his brother’s family. But one day after returning from fishing, he is visited by the two rival gang members he had beaten on the train, and they stab him down violently. Dawid is aware of death rushing towards him as he sits by the sea, contemplating his life and waiting for the end.
The character of Golden has been developed as one with high ambitions, even if that means getting himself into mortal danger. What he does not realize is what he does to the lives of others. Golden was all in for brotherhood and solidarity till the point when he realized that he could financially do better without any of it. He actively kills Kashubian to clear his way towards a drug trafficking business, and in the process, draws an end to the entire Furioza gang that was once so dear to him and that gave him his entire livelihood. It can be assumed that the members’ time in custody would be short-lived as it is for a collective crime, but with the death of Dawid, the future of the gang seems quite bleak.
“Furioza” is a 2022 Polish Crime Drama film directed by Cyprian T. Olencki.