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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

My Wonderful Life Ending, Explained: Who is the Blackmailer?

‘My Wonderful Life’ or ‘Moje wspaniale zycie’ is a Polish comedy-drama film that revolves around Joanna “Jo” Lisiecka (Agata Buzek). She plays many roles in her life — from an educator to mother to wife to daughter to grandmother. She loves her students and family, but those relationships don’t seem reciprocatory.

When the film opens, she has grown disillusioned with her life. However, it starts to spiral completely out of control after a mysterious blackmailer threatens to reveal a secret she has carefully hidden. Here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘My Wonderful Life.’ SPOILERS AHEAD.

My Wonderful Life Plot Synopsis

Jo and her husband, Witek (Jacek Braciak), work at the same high school — she as an English teacher and he is the headmaster. They share their home with Jo’s mother (Malgorzata Zajaczkowska), Jo and Witek’s adult son Adam (Jakub Zajac), Adam’s Wife Karina (Wiktoria Wolanska), Adam and Karina’s son Leon, and Jo and Witek’s youngest son Janek.

None of them is pleased about sharing their cramped-up house. Jo has a second house that originally belonged to her parents. Adam and Karina have wanted it for a long time for their young family, but every time they brought it up, Jo refused. Adam has even lost a bet to his wife on this and now has to get spanked a hundred times on the back.

Jo is a pot smoker and uses her parents’ home for recreational purposes. The property is also where she secretly meets with her lover, Maciek (Adam Woronowicz), a teacher at the same school as her. Jo’s personal and professional lives are gradually coming apart.

Her mother has Alzheimer’s disease. Adam and Karina aren’t particularly good parents. Witek seems lost and is in the middle of a mid-life crisis. He goes running every day in a desperate bid to hold on to his youth and spends time at a bar surrounded by young people. Janek isn’t necessarily an incel, but the time he spends in his room seems to be a matter of concern for everyone in the family.

Amidst her family and indifferent students, Jo suppresses her true self. That changes every time she is with Maciek. His open personality and caring nature bring out the best in Jo. However, she is not ready to let go of her family. They make up a quintessential part of her identity, and Jo desperately tries to cling to that.

The blackmail starts with a text. Later, Jo begins receiving envelopes with cryptic messages. She reaches out to Adam for help and admits that she is being blackmailed for an affair, though she doesn’t reveal with whom. She comes to think that one of her students is responsible.

She becomes especially suspicious of Monkey, Maciek’s daughters. She gathers fingerprints of several students, including Monkey, and asks Adam to get them checked against the ones left on one of the envelopes. But none of them is a match, much to Jo’s disappointment.

My Wonderful Life Ending: Who Is the Blackmailer?

In the later part of the film, the blackmailer starts sending Jo the photos and video clips that she and Maciek recorded during their moments of intimacy. She receives the clip on her phone along with a note telling her that if she doesn’t show it to her family that evening, the whole city will see it by the following day.

Forced into a corner, Jo has no choice but to sit her entire clan down and show them the footage. In that scene, writer-director Lukasz Grzegorzek builds up tension in stages. The family members get angry and disappointed at Jo and vent at her one by one. Ultimately, she lashes out at all of them, clinically pointing out their shortcomings.

The situation is diffused after her mother runs away. Jo goes out with her two sons to look for her in the city and eventually discovers that Witek has already found her. It is later revealed that Janek is the blackmailer. He found out about the affair and likely felt that his mother’s actions were putting the family unity in danger. Shortly after moving out of the family’s home, Jo figures this out. And Janek even confirms it when he comes to visit his mother.

What Does Jo Choose Between Witek and Maciek?

In the closing sequence of the film, the rest of Jo’s family shows up at her door. There are not many dialogues after this. In a powerful scene, Jo and all her family members except Witek hug each other. Shortly after, Maciek arrives with flowers in his hand. Witek is the one that opens the door and lets him in.

The two men stand side by side as Jo looks up, and the film ends. Although infidelity often destroys families, Jo’s choice isn’t necessarily between her family and Maciek, but between Witek and Maciek.

The hugging scene represents Jo and most members of her family forgiving each other and themselves. The fact that Witek purposefully stays out is telling. Although Grzegorzek offers an ambiguous ending, it’s probably safe to say that Jo and Witek’s marriage has run its course.

Witek lets Maciek in because he likely feels that the other man has as much right to be there as anyone else. It’s a new beginning for all three of them. Jo and Maciek can finally be open about their relationship, while Witek can pursue his own happiness.

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