‘Too Old For Fairy Tales’ Ending, Explained: What Did Waldek Learn From His Grandfather And Aunty?


Waldek Banas’s life was in disarray when his mother’s aunt, Mariolka, came to live with him for a couple of weeks. Waldek enjoyed playing video games, and he competed in tournaments with his best friend, Staszek Lebioda, and Rudy, who he believed was far more talented than them. Their team was called “Three Kings,” and winning the Robot Masters Gaming Tournament was their ultimate goal. Waldek was protected from every danger by his mother, and when Mariolka started to live with Waldek, she decided to make him responsible. “Too Old for Fairy Tales” is about Waldek’s growing up, how he learns to deal with a myriad of emotions, and, at the same time, how to be more responsible.

Spoilers Ahead

‘Too Old For Fairy Tales’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?

Tereska, Waldek’s mother, asked Mariolka to look after her son while she was away getting tested at a city hospital. Tereska was visibly tense about her aunt living with her son, and she obsessively cleaned her apartment for Mariolka’s approval. The moment Mariolka stepped into the apartment, she knew she had to make several changes. It was not just the space that lacked life in it, but also Waldek, who needed to learn basic life skills. Waldek watched his mother leave for the city as he sadly waved her goodbye. According to Waldek, Mariolka was a crazy woman, and he had reason to believe it. She would hang herself in the living room and pretend to fly; bring home plants to brighten the space; assign tasks to Waldek.

Waldek was tired of living with Mariolka. He missed his mother, who made his life a lot easier by helping him with every task. Waldek had to clean his dishes, learn to make his food, walk to school alone and ride a bike every day. As Waldek struggled to navigate life with Mariolka, he prayed for his mother to come home soon so that he would be saved from what he believed was torture. Life as an overweight kid was not easy for him, and that was something Mariolka noticed the moment she entered the apartment. She knew that Waldek needed to take charge of his life and that he needed more than video games to keep himself busy throughout the day. His mother was overprotective of him since he was her world. But out of love, Tereska had forgotten to allow her son to make mistakes.

When Waldek complained to his mother over the phone, he accused Mariolka of being a sadist. He was tired of cooking, cleaning, shopping, and dieting; he just wanted his mother back home. To make matters worse, Rudy left their team, leaving the three kings without a member to enter the final tournament. As he watched his life fall apart, he decided to steal the address of the hospital his mother was admitted to from Mariolka’s handbag. He got on a bus at midnight and left to meet his mother. He sneaked into the hospital and came across his mother’s room. He watched his mother remove the wig from her head. Waldek could not hold back his tears after watching his mother in such a fragile condition. He returned home crying throughout the journey. Mariolka scolded him for disappearing in the middle of the night. She received a call from Tereska asking about her son. Mariolka lied, saying that she was with him when he visited the hospital. Nonetheless, Waldek had learned the secret that was kept from him. He had to accept that his mother was suffering from a terminal illness, that he had to live with Mariolka till her mother was well, and he also had to find the third member of the “Three Kings” team to compete in the tournament.

Did Waldek And Staszek Find The Third Member For Their Team?

Mariolka motivated the boys to find a new member for their team, and that was when Waldek came across Delfina. Delfina was a video game player who was interested in joining their team, and Waldek was taken by her beauty and charm. He was more than keen on having her on the team, but Staszek declined having a girl on the team. While their hunt for the third player continued, Waldek refused to communicate with his mother over the phone. He was upset that Tereska chose to lie to him, and he avoided confronting the truth now.

Meanwhile, a player named “Ant” in an ant avatar requested to join their team and asked them to meet in front of their apartment in the evening. The boys were interested in whom they thought to be a grown adult willing to join their team. Waldek asked Aunty to watch over them from the terrace in case it did not work out. Waldek went swimming the next day and met Delfina there. She was as beautiful as in the video, and Waldek could not help but fall in love with her. He knew Delfina was the perfect girl for him, and she was the one he was meant to have in his life, though he did not know how to confess his feelings to her. Delfina asked if she could meet them at 5 pm in front of his apartment, and Waldek agreed, even though they had to meet “Ant” as well. As it turned out, Delfina was Ant, and she was happy to join the boys in their team. Though Staszek insulted her by refusing to play with a girl. She left, and Waldek was disappointed in his friend.

As Waldek rested in his room, his mother entered. She had come down from the hospital to check on her son. But Waldek chose to avoid any confrontation with his mother and confined himself to his room. The next day, he met with Staszek and Delfina. Staszek apologized to her for his behavior, and the three filled out the form for the tournament. Delfina met Mariolka, and she offered to take the kids on a trip the next day. They left early and learned that Mariolka wanted them to try water skating. She was a woman who enjoyed the adventure, and even though Staszek thought she was too old for it, she proved him wrong. Waldek was next in line to try the sport, but he was too scared to do it. He felt a little uneasy about having failed in front of Delfina. He also noticed how Staszek and Delfina were chatting together, and he assumed the worst. But within a few seconds, Staszek walked away from her in a hurry and avoided Waldek as well. Waldek was a bit surprised, but he wanted to establish his feelings for Delfina, so he proceeded to kiss her, which she denied. She added that Staszek too wanted her to be his girlfriend, she was not interested in it.

Waldek was heartbroken. He never thought his best friend would double-cross him. He could not believe that Staszek proposed to the girl whom he had been interested in from the very beginning. He felt cheated on and, out of anger, he dumped the tournament form in the garbage.

‘Too Old For Fairy Tales’ Ending Explained: What Did Waldek Learn About Life From His Grandfather And Aunty?

Tereska returned home within a few days, and she was quite taken by Waldek’s promptness to help her with her luggage. He proposed they visit his grandfather, and Tereska agreed. He was ready to do all that it took to avoid any confrontation with his mother about what he had witnessed at the hospital.

Mariolka did not entertain Tereska interfering with every decision her son took. She wanted her to leave some choices to Waldek, even if they did not seem sensible to Tereska. On the other hand, Tereska was not too comfortable with all the changes Mariolka brought, even if she knew they were for the better. It somehow took her further away from her life, and she believed she was losing her importance in Waldek’s life as well. Waldek had now started to depend on Mariolka, and he could not imagine his life without her. He requested her to come along with them to his grandfather’s house, and she agreed to it. Tereska wanted to hide her illness from her father, and she added some makeup to conceal her weakness. Grandpa, according to Waldek, was tough on the outside but had a softness from within.

Waldek and his grandfather went fishing together. He attempted to learn more about Waldek’s life, especially now that he was an adolescent. Waldek confessed that he was in love with a girl, but she did not feel the same way. His grandfather joked that he would fall in love numerous times in his lifetime, but Waldek was not ready to accept it. He believed Delfina was the one true love of his life. When his grandfather asked him about his best friend, Waldek, with remorse, stated that he had lied to him. That was when his grandfather discussed the three usual reasons why people lie and how it is not as simple as one assumes it to be. People, he believed, usually lied out of fear, stupidity, or love. He wanted his grandson to understand the reason behind why a person would lie in the first place and then choose whether he wanted to forgive the person or not. He believed that if his best friend was irreplaceable, then he must be forgiven, and Waldek knew that Staszek had lied out of stupidity, and he must forgive his friend for being foolish.

Tereska and Waldek looked at old pictures that were stored in the attic. It was then that Waldek learned that his aunty was a paratrooper. She gave it up when her sister, Tereska’s mother, died of a heart attack while she was in the air. While the story of Aunty did upset him, knowing how she gave away her career for something that was not her fault, he was devastated when he got to know that his mother went to a summer camp when she was eight. She did what she denied him, and he found that to be extremely unfair.

In the evening, when his grandfather had set out for a barbecue, he noticed how his mother tried to avoid her father when he asked him about a mark on her hand. Mariolka helped Tereska out of the situation by diverting his attention from the wound to a frog. Waldek struggled to comprehend the adult world, where people kept the truth from those they loved, and in the process, they lied to protect them. He learned that his mother chose to lie to him just like she did to her father because she loved them both immensely and wanted to keep the truth from them for as long as she could. She could not bear to see them sad and worried. Waldek now knew that the world could not be determined as easily as he thought as a child; there were several gray areas that he needed to understand and respect.

Waldek supported his mother as she prepared to go for a final checkup. She was tense, fearing the result, but she had her son by her side, who promised to take half of her fear, something he learned from Mariolka. As he waited for his mother to return home with the report, he remembered that his aunt always said that he must do some work instead of sitting idle. He cleaned the apartment and kept himself busy. Staszek entered the apartment, he was asked by Mariolka to join Waldek and give him company. Instead of playing video games like they usually did, they baked a pie together. Waldek felt guilty about not confessing to Staszek that he had destroyed their entry form. His mother returned home bearing good news. According to the doctor, she would recover, and it would not get worse. Tereska, Mariolka, and Waldek celebrated the news with the pie he made.

When Mariolka handed Waldek an envelope, he opened it to find that his team was selected for the Robot Masters Gaming Tournament. Mariolka retrieved the form from the garbage and submitted it on his behalf, and Waldek was over the moon with joy. Waldek handed over an envelope to Mariolka that his grandfather had asked him to give. It was a ticket for parachuting, and Mariolka was emotional after receiving it.

Waldek participated in the tournament with the support of his mother, aunt, and grandfather. His team was accepted for the final round, which was set to take place in Germany. Tereska now knew that her son was responsible enough to be allowed to travel alone. She bid her son goodbye and watched him leave the airport with Delfina, Staszuk, and his girlfriend, who was a member of another team. His weeks spent with his aunt, whom he despised at first, helped him with important life lessons. He was now responsible and did not depend on others for his daily activities. He was also living a healthier lifestyle, and it was because of his better understanding and acceptance of the world around him that he was also in love now, once again. The title “Too Old for Fairy Tales” is quite suitable for Waldek’s evolution. He had to face certain truths that he would have preferred to avoid; he learned that some things were beyond right and wrong, and he realized that not all crazy is always bad.

“Too Old for Fairy Tales” is a 2022 Family Drama film directed by Kristoffer Rus.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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