Most kids munch chips while playing games, but little Waldek snacks on a bowl of chocolates as he fights opponents on the computer. The boy dreams of winning a gaming tournament with his team, but when his mother puts him in the care of an eccentric aunt for a few days, Waldek is forced to live a completely different life than he is used too. That’s the primary plot of 2022 Polish movie ‘Za Duzy Na Bajki’ aka ‘Too Old For Fairy Tales’, and if having to watch a pampered overweight kid deal with a disciplinarian old nut sounds like a fun film idea to you, definitely stream it on Netflix.
Directed by Kristoffer Rus, the family-comedy is based on a novel by Agnieszka Dabrowska. Maciej Karas plays protgaonist Waldec with ease, he is annoying at first, but slowly grows on the viewer. Dorota Kolak is wickedly amusing as the ‘psycho’, who takes away all of Waldek’s chocolates the moment mom is out of the building and tries to teach him the importance of moderation. From the poster, ‘Za Duzy Na Bajki’ appeared to be just another film about kids playing games and creating trouble, but it turned out be more wholesome than I was expecting it to be.
The cinematography is simple, bright and compliments the linear straightforward storytelling. In an interesting decision, the makers use minimal background music to enhance scenes and it works in making the characters and situations believable. There are a lot of little life lessons along with a generous sprinkling of subtle humor throughout the film; however the most important theme is perhaps a warning against helicopter parenting. Karolina Gruszka plaus Waldek’s over-protective mother Teresa, who is absolutely supportive of his gaming ambitions, but is also constantly hovering over him, doing everything for him. Kids needs some independence too.
Unlike the English title of the film, the climax does have a cliched ‘happy ending’ straight out of a modern fairy tale, so you will probably finish the movie with a smile.
It’s a 7/10 from me.
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