Netflix’s latest big talking point, the erotic Polish drama 365 Dni, has people up in arms for a number of reasons, one of which is the abrupt ending that leaves things on a cliffhanger and the main narrative unresolved, the circumstances of which come together rather suddenly.
The plot of the movie revolves around Laura, a professionally successful but romantically and sexually unsatisfied marketing executive, who is kidnapped by Massimo, the ruthless head of a mafia family, after he recognizes her as the woman he saw five years previously when he lay almost dying after a botched deal with some black marketeers. He states that he intends to keep her imprisoned for a year, during which time he’ll make her love him.
Such is the focus on the developing relationship – for lack of an equally concise and more accurate word – and the increasingly steamy scenes that many are convinced are genuine that the gangland aspects of the plot get pushed to the side. Most significantly, while at a club, Laura flirts with a rival mafioso to annoy Massimo, leading to the man groping her and Massimo’s violent reaction sparking a war between the gangsters.
This is largely forgotten about though as the back-and-forth emotional and sexual provocations continue, until the film’s climax when the pair are to be married. Laura’s car is seen driving into a tunnel right as it’s revealed that the rival thugs are planning to kill her in retaliation for Massimo’s actions, and all we see is the flashing lights of a police car to suggest something bad has happened. It leaves things intentionally ambiguous and with the presumable intention of inciting demand for a sequel, a tactic that’s endlessly frustrating since, if scores of cancelled TV shows left on cliffhanger endings have taught us anything, it’s that one thing that moneymaking executives really don’t care about is audience satisfaction.
Much like the deathly tedious humpfest to which it’s being most frequently compared, Fifty Shades of Grey, 365 Dni is based on a trilogy of books, and in the second installment, Ten Dzień (Another Day) Laura does of course return. Although, she’s at constant risk of being killed and kidnapped by Massimo’s enemies, intensifying the passion of their couplings with the added risk of death involved.