Piotr Mularuk’s polish film, In for a Murder, perfectly mixes crime and comedy to create a captivating drama. The story is based on Katarzyna Gacek’s novel and centers on a mysterious murder in a small town, Podkowa Lesna, near Warsaw. To bring humor to the tale, the plot introduces an avid Agatha Christie reading housewife, Magda. Apparently, Magda is more proficient in solving the crime than any detective in the small community.
Through the journey, Magda not only solves the murder mystery but also makes peace with the conflicts in her marriage. A flawed character overcomes internal and external conflicts. In search of a Murder, also titled “W jak morderstwo” (in Polish), is streaming on Netflix.
‘In for a Murder’ Plot Summary
Magda Borowska (Anna Smolowik) lives in a peaceful Podkowa Lesna with her husband, Tomasz “Thomas,” and two young children. To take care of the children, Magda left her job long ago. However, living with a highly narcissistic husband has become a real struggle for her.
One night, Magda finds an expensive perfume receipt in Thomas’ coat pocket and believes he will surprise her soon. Magda takes her dog, Mela, out for a walk to share the news with her best friend, Elka. Mela runs away and leads Magda to a dead body in the park near the City Hall. Magda instantly calls her school friend, Inspector Jason “Jacek” Sikora, to investigate the murder.
Before Jason can unravel the intricate details, Magda reveals that she saw a local drunk Stefan leaving the park when she arrived at the park. Jason is secretly in love with Magda yet stops the mystery enthusiast from interfering in the investigation.
The following day, Thomas invites his family to a business tennis match with Jaroslaw Czerwinski’s wife, Susie. Jaroslaw is a wealthy entrepreneur who owns a restaurant, and many other things. Thomas informs Jaroslaw that Magda found a dead body last night. Jaroslaw gets interested and coining the situation, Thomas invites Susie and Jaroslaw for dinner.
After dinner, Susie, in her glamorous aura, shows her selfie pictures from last night’s party at Bruno Szeliga’s house. Bruno is running for Senator, and everyone wants to be part of his prestigious guest list. In the pictures, Magda spots the girl who was stabbed in the park. She is wearing a W-shaped pendant around her neck, identical to the piece Magda gifted to her long-missing friend, Weronika Bielecka.
Magda instantly calls Jason to inform him that the dead woman can be Weronika. But when Jason refuses to help, Magda begins her investigation to find Weronika and bring justice to the dead woman.
Major Spoilers Ahead
Who was the Dead Woman?
Jason identified the murdered woman found in the park. She was a hairdresser from Briwinow named Joanna Maj. But even though her identity came to light, the mystery of the W-shaped pendant was still troubling Magda. Disguised as husband and wife, Jason and Magda attended Joanna’s funeral.
After the funeral, Magda sneaked into Joanna’s room and found her picture with Weronika. Joanna’s mother informed Magda that her daughter and Weronika were close friends and shared everything, even pendants. However, Joanna’s mother suspected Magda was a thief and asked her to leave. Magda couldn’t inquire about her missing best friend.
What happened to Weronika Bielecka?
Magda visited Weronika’s mother, Wanda, to learn about her best friend’s secret life. Wanda told Magda that Weronika and her father had a conflicted relationship. In her early years, Weronika got pregnant without marriage, and her father would have killed her if the truth had come out. Hence, Weronika ran away from home.
Weronika and Joanna Maj both worked as waitresses in a restaurant at the race track. According to Wanda, Joanna introduced Weronika to the terrible man who destroyed her daughter’s life. But Wanda didn’t know his name.
To investigate further, Magda visited Czerwinski’s restaurant, where Weronika worked. She met Czerwinski’s ex-wife, Ilona, who revealed that Weronika was in love with Bruno Szeliga. According to Ilona, it wasn’t a fling but a genuine love between them, and they often used to come to the racetracks.
Magda tried to connect the dots and left the restaurant and saw Czerwinski, Szeliga, and his wife, Barbara Szeliga, standing together near the racetracks. She informed Jason that Weronika was pregnant with Szeliga’s child while he was married to Barbara. Probably, to save his marriage and reputation, Szeliga killed Weronika.
Who killed Weronika?
Magda asked Jason to arrest Bruno Szeliga, but they didn’t have any evidence. Suddenly, Magda remembered that Weronika’s body was still missing, and it could be buried somewhere near Szeliga’s house. Magda took help from the psychic healer, Robert Mazur, to find it.
During the open Gardens festival at Szeliga’s house, Magda and Robert trespassed Szeliga’s garden looking for Weronika’s body. Their investigation terrified Bruno, and he quickly asked them to leave. At night, Bruno tried to dig up Weronika’s body to move it out of his garden. However, he suddenly realized that it was a trap set by Jason and Magda.
After Weronika’s body was recovered, Jason arrested Bruno, and during the interrogation, he revealed that he didn’t kill Weronika. He invited her home when Barbara was away and Weronika slipped from the stairs. According to Bruno, Weronika died in an accident. Bruno buried Weronika’s body because no one would have believed his innocence. But Weronika didn’t die from an accident. She was pushed.
Magda came to Szeliga’s house to attend to their dog when she heard Barbara and Czerwinski discussing the murders. Barbara confessed that they had been trying to have a baby for many years, but then Weronika came along and got pregnant. She feared that Bruno would give all his wealth to Weronika and her child. Thus, she pushed Weronika down the stairs, killing her instantly. Czerwinski knew the truth all along and outlined that Barbara was a psychotic killer who would have even killed Bruno if Czerwinski had not interfered that day.
Who killed Joanna?
Barbara confessed to killing Joanna, who came to their party looking for Weronika. She feared that Joanna would attract unwanted attention, and thus to silence her, Barbara stabbed her in the park.
The police believed that Stefan killed Joanna, and thus, to distract them, Czerwinski got Stefan killed and made it look like an accident. While the two murderers discussed their crimes, Magda heard it all and ran out of the house to reveal their truth to the police.
‘In for a Murder’ Ending Explained
As Czerwinski’s driver-cum hitman chased Magda throughout the town, she dialed the emergency number and called her heroes, Jason and handsome veterinarian, Doctor Walczak.
After a bit of chase and run, Czerwinski abducted Magda at gunpoint and brought her back to Szeliga’s house. He locked Magda inside the dog’s cage and ordered Bruno’s dog to attack Madga. But suddenly, Jason and Walczak came for Magda’s rescue and arrested Czerwinski and Barbara. Magda shed her fears and befriended the loyal dog.
After the murderers had been put behind bars, Magda finally confronted Thomas and asked him to leave. Magda revealed that she knew Thomas had been sleeping with Czerwinski’s trophy wife, Susie. He bought an expensive perfume for Susie, the receipt of which Magda found in Thomas’ coat pocket. However, Magda hid the receipt in a book, and probably Thomas would have found it, and thus to trick his wife, he bought another bottle.
Later, during a visit to the station, Magda saw Susie using the same perfume and instantly accepted that Thomas was cheating on her. Her best friend, Elka, and Jason tried to alert Magda of Thomas’ flings, but Magda was too afraid to face her husband.
In the end, after solving a triple murder mystery, Magda finally got the courage to throw her unfaithful husband out of the house.
In for a Murder (W jak morderstwo in Polish) is a 2021 crime thriller film written and directed by Piotr Mularuk. The film based on Katarzyna Gacek‘s novel is streaming on Netflix.