The Getaway King aka Najmro is a 2021 Polish action comedy based on the life of Zdzisław Najmrodzki — a high profile thief, infamous for escaping from the grasp of the authorities 29 times. His criminal activities were at an all time high during the time of the Polish People’s Republic in the ’80s. The film is now streaming on Netflix.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
The Getaway King opens with a short scene showing Zdzisław Najmrodzki (Dawid Ogrodnik) loitering around the courtyard of a prison and we see him escape. The plot then establishes that breaking out is a common task for him and now he has a price of 2 million zloty on his head.
As the Civilian’s Militia hunts him down, the flamboyant Najmrodzki robs an outlet of Pewex stores that has no alarm system. He, along with his team — Antos (Jakub Gierszał), Teplic (Andrzej Andrzejewski) and Młoda (Sandra Drzymalska) — cuts a hole in the wall of the store and covers it up with movie posters.
After a successful heist, Lieutenant Barski (Robert Więckiewicz) and his junior Ujma (Rafał Zawierucha) are hot on their tail. As Najmrodzki goes to the local theatre the next day to procure more posters, he runs into the new girl at the ticket window, Tereska (Masza Wągrocka).
The two hit it off and despite knowing who the man in front of her really is, Tereska is shown to be interested in him. Soon after, the gang zeroes in on another Pewex outlet. Młoda disguises herself as a member of the Militia to enquire about the shop’s alarm arrangements.
Luckily for them, they discover that there isn’t any and decide to strike later that night. However, this time Barski and Ujma are waiting for them. Before they can act, a slight mistake from the latter attracts the attention of the gang and Najmrodzki tries to escape. A car chase ensues with Barski desperately driving after his target.
The chase leads the duo onto a deserted road with a hairpin curve. Najmrodzki speeds forward and backs up his car into the trees as Barski drives past him. He’s about to escape again but the Militia officer doesn’t notice the bend and meets with a terrible accident.
Unable to leave him there, Najmrodzki saves his life but Barski uses this opportunity to arrest him. Taking him back to the precinct, he smacks him around to get the names of his accomplices to no avail. Eventually, Barski gets the taste of his own medicine as Najmrodzki knocks him out and escapes.
He then drives to his mom, Mira’s (Dorota Kolak) house to lay low and meets her boyfriend, Roch (Bartosz Roch Nowicki). From there we see him trying to win over Tereska and he sees her every night after her shift at the theatre.
She takes him home one night where he impresses her father over a game of chess as well and the two start dating. Meanwhile, a defeated Barski continues his investigation and comes across the fact that Najmrodzki has a mother.
He orders Ujma to find her address. They do discover some information but it turns out to be a false lead.
If you still have doubts about the ending, here’s a detailed breakdown.
The Getaway King ending explained in detail:
New business venture
After realising how easy it is to break open the back window of an in-demand car, Najmrodzki convinces the gang to start stealing the vehicles. They sell them at an open car market and start raking in massive profits. Meanwhile, things with Tereska also seem to be going quite well.
Unfortunately, Barski hits gold once again when he goes through Najmrodzki’s belongings and discovers a matchbox from Hotel Varsovia (a common hangout of the gang). He travels to the location and manages to run into his target, arresting him again.
This time, Najmrodzki gets placed in a high profile prison (the same which is shown in the opening scene). After a few days, he escapes again using an underground tunnel, thanks to Antos and Teplic who help dig it from a school adjoining the jail.
Even though he is free, this stint forces the authorities to put out a shoot-to-kill order on Najmrodzki. He goes to meet Tereska who is upset at him for not keeping a low profile. He promises her that after one last job, he will stop with the crimes and settle down.
The last tango
After much thought, Najmrodzki gathers his crew and reveals his plan to let go of this lifestyle. It sits well with everyone except Antos who thinks Tereska has messed with his head.
After Antos beats up a car customer and annoys Najmrodzki at his mother’s house, the latter kicks Antos out of the crew. Unable to bear this insult, he calls Barski and snitches.
The Militia creep up on the open car market the next day and as the crew gathers bundles of money, Barski spots our protagonist. A wild chase ensues which ends with Ujma about to shoot Najmrodzki dead. Barski however prevents this and says it’s unwise to shoot him in front of the public.
Najmrodzki is sentenced to 10 years in prison and Tereska pays him a visit. She warns him that if he breaks out he can go his own way but if he behaves, she will be waiting for him, insisting that good behaviour will let him out sooner.
Poland undergoes a massive shift in the years Najmrodzki is imprisoned. A new government is formed and the Militia is turned into a Police Force with Ujma being promoted to Commissioner. He dismisses Barski, citing insubordination as he prevented Najmrodzki from being shot at.
Sleight of hand
Antos gets deeper into crime and starts working for a dangerous mafia boss. He targets Najmrodzki’s family by harassing them at their new shop and even physically assaults Tereska.
Worried, the gang goes to a now retired Barski for help who pulls some strings and gets pardon for Najmrodzki. Finally a free man, he confronts a drug laced Antos in a night club and threatens him with dire consequences if he bothers the family again.
Unable to take this insult, Antos follows Najmrodzki out of the club and chases him in his car. The latter leads him to the same accident prone road and the duo is closely followed by Barski.
We then witness a fiery car crash and the news confirms that Najmrodzki has died. They recover his decapitated left hand which seems to put the final nail in the coffin.
A funeral is held the next day which is attended by everyone close to the Getaway King. Antos’ boss also visits the family to double check the news and leaves after offering his condolences.
We then see a very much alive and well Najmrodzki appear in front of his friends with a severed left hand. It is revealed that the whole thing was planned and Barski used Antos’ crash to clear Najmrodzki’s path for the future. They cut off his hand but it was actually Antos who perished.
The final scenes of the film see everyone celebrating as Najmrodzki and Tereska plan their new life together.