In For A Murder (aka W jak morderstwo) is a new Polish murder-mystery movie which has landed on Netflix today. The movie – directed by Piotr Mularuk – stars Anna Smolowik, Pawel Domagala, and Rafal Królikowski, and tells the story of a woman called Magda, who discovers a corpse in the local park.
In the movie, Magda is a mother of two who is out walking her dog late at night, when she comes across the body of a young woman. The discovery is shocking, but somewhat exciting to Magda, who lives a fairly mundane existence with her children and arrogant husband.
As Magda is a curious person, she begins to investigate the circumstances surrounding the body, joining forces with an ineffective inspector to crack the case. But can an amateur sleuth and a bumbling inspector get to the bottom of the murder mystery?
The first thing to note about In For A Murder is that it has an air of whimsy about it. From the moment it begins, through the music, the look, and the feel of the film, everything suggests this is a bright and breezy picture, rather than a hard-hitting piece.
It is the sort of movie that you watch on a Sunday evening, when the new working week is poking up on the horizon, and you need something light to counteract the sense of dread and anxiety you are feeling. It is a film you don’t need to follow too closely, and a great deal of the mood is carried through the setting and the music.
The second thing to highlight is that despite its playful nature, it is not particularly gripping or engrossing. There are obvious attempts to make this picture feel a little quirky, but they all fall flat.
It is possible that some of the quirks, and even some of the humour get lost in translation, but I don’t feel that either element is as strong as they wish to be. The film seems to aim high, but it misses its target, resulting in something fairly forgettable.
Personally, this isn’t the sort of movie that I tend to dive into, but this particular style and genre of drama is very popular. However, it is far more popular in the form of a television series than it is as a movie, and I can’t help but feel In For A Murder should be a TV episode and nothing more.
There’s nothing particularly significant about In For A Murder that makes it stand out from its peers. In terms of its place as a mystery movie, it’s certainly not up there with the likes of Knives Out (2019) or Murder on the Orient Express (2017), and despite attempts at humour, it’s not going to win over fans of the Pink Panther films either.
I’m not quite sure who is going to rush to watch this film. I expect many will give it a try, but I wonder if they will all see it through to the end?
On the plus side, the film looks good, has a very delightful colour palette, and lead actress Anna Smolowik is likeable. It’s not heavy going in any way, so those looking for that Sunday night bit of fluff will get it in spades.
But watching this film I was largely bored. Half-an-hour in and I was starting to lose interest, and as it trickled along towards the conclusion, I wasn’t particularly bothered about seeing the outcome.
For a couple of minutes, I was mildly bothered about Magda, and was concerned about how awful her husband seemed to be, but then I remembered that once I switched off the movie, I would not give either character a second thought. I simply didn’t care.
Unless you are itching to watch this movie, or you have nothing better to view, I’d suggest giving this movie a miss. It’s not awful, it’s just not particularly exciting, and there are far better mystery movies to watch.