‘Johnny’ (2023) Ending, Explained: Does Jan Kaczkowski Succeed In Rehabilitating Patryk?

“Johnny” starts by comparing and finding similarities between two completely different personalities; Patryk, who breaks the law often and makes prison his home, and Fr. Jan, who abides by the law and walks the extra mile to reach out to the terminally ill in the village. While Patryk is imprisoned, he gains respect through violence, without which he is useless and lonely among the criminals. Useless and alone like the priest Fr. Jan, who though he cannot see and walk properly, is generously charitable. To add to it, the villagers hardly care, and once they have made up their minds, even God cannot change them. Fr. Jan, therefore, is more of an outsider than someone who is welcomed, just like Patryk in prison.


“Johnny” takes us through the beautiful relationship between these two individuals: a prisoner and a priest. Patryk enjoys drinking alcohol and making merry, sleeping with women, and turning the radio up. And thus, he thinks that God doesn’t care about him. He is convinced of the fact that God knows whatever he has done and that he will never forgive him. In “Johnny,” therefore, Fr. Jan takes it upon himself to help Patryk figure out what he can do to change the above construct at the moment.

Spoilers Ahead


Is St. Padre Pio Hospice In Puck For Terminally Ill Patients Or A Rehabilitation Centre?

Fr. Jan, a Roman Catholic priest, always spoke about living life to the fullest and desired to accompany the dying terminally ill patients. Thus, he would, along with his friends, nurses, and doctors, visit the sick people on his wheels and witness the great pain that they were in during the last days of their lives. Hence, he, as a chaplain wanting to alleviate their pain, wants to go a little further and start a hospice. But the Archbishop is strongly against Fr. Jan, levying false allegations against him and saying that he is using his illness to promote the hospice project. But the onco-celebrity doesn’t give up; he argues as to how the Archbishop shouldn’t interfere in his pure and great endeavors, just like he doesn’t want to meddle in how the Archbishop has purchased different properties and the secret of his substance abuse. Fr. Jan, through great personal hard work and community support, manages to raise the funds to start St. Padre Pio Hospice in Puck for terminally ill patients. Living with a terminal illness himself, i.e., glioblastoma, he hardly cared about himself but worried about every individual admitted to the hospice. 

When Patryk receives an order to do 360 hours of community service, Fr. Jan welcomes him and makes him comfortable, and gives him a chance to become better. The hospice, although not a rehabilitation center, becomes one for Patryk under the guidance of Fr. Jan. Fr. Jan becomes the epitome of the father’s compassionate mercy toward the prodigal son, as shown in the gospel of Luke 15:11–32. Patryk has repeatedly squandered the property, i.e., his body, through substance abuse. And his entry into the hospice is a return to paradise, where Fr. Jan will teach him to change himself and become the person he was called to be. Fr. Jan is exercising his calling and allowing Patryk to realize his. St. Padre Pio Hospice, therefore, becomes an instrument of hope and happiness, providing dignity to dying, terminally ill patients. And through the merciful acts of Fr. Jan, he imparts an alternate perspective to Patryk so that he can live a meaningful life.


Why Is Patryk Sentenced To Three Years Imprisonment Without Parole? And Will He Spend The Rest Of His Life In Prison?

Patryk receives the red stamp letter yet again to present himself to the court. All those who have had an encounter with Patryk are summoned to give a witness to the improved and rehabilitated Patryk’s character. Fr. Jan very emotionally expresses how Patryk has been able to show his true self during the time when human tragedy struck certain terminally ill patients. Fr. Jan testifies that Patryk hasn’t been fake in his actions but has been good, decent, and trustworthy. But the court adjudges his actions to be manipulative and accuses him of creating a false image of his persona, and therefore sentences him to three years imprisonment without parole. But Fr. Jan, unshakeable as he is, gets in touch with the higher-ups and gets Patryk free by reducing his sentence, in a way giving him another chance at life.

‘Johnny’ Ending Explained – Does Jan Kaczkowski Succeed In Rehabilitating Patryk?

“Johnny” is a faithful adaptation of Maciej Kraszewski’s novel of the same name. Apart from narrating the story of Fr. Jan, it also presents the life story of Patryk, who was raised in a neglected setting by his abusive father. Patryk thus never felt loved and cared for. He thought of himself as unwanted and unworthy. Patryk never thought that, apart from substance abuse, he could have a life of his own and a reason to live it. He never thought that he could have the best possible partner, i.e., Zaneta, and that he could be a dad or even be the best possible version of himself. Patryk escaped every opportunity to change and feared that he would have to confront his own failures. Patryk had already given up on life, but Fr. Jan, through his interaction with him, reminded him that life has more to it. Fr. Jan wanted to let the audience know that whoever we are, or whatever crossroad we stand, we shouldn’t wait for things to happen to us accidentally. But make responsible choices allowing great things to happen in and through our lives.


Patryk learns slowly and steadily that it is important to have a happy and blissful ending as he sees a resident of the hospice die holding his hand. When a resident named Roman Zalewski requests that Patryk purchase something from a shop, Roman is testing Patryk and says to Fr. Jan that Patryk, the criminal that he is, will not return, but will run away with the money. But Patryk returns and gives the exact change back to Roman, making Fr. Jan proud; this makes Patryk realize that there is a possibility to change and become better. Patryk is promoted to the cooking department after Fr. Jan sees his dedication and love for the residents. And every time he gets a promotion, Patryk feels good about himself and sees the possibility of becoming a better human being. However, innately, he may still have the violent and deviant nature that he employs to achieve what he wants, for instance, making the son of Roman Zalewski come and meet him. But deep down within, he has changed for the better. He employs all his energies and talents to make Fr. Jan happy, also, in a way offering his gratitude for giving him a second chance. Fr. Jan Kaczkowski succeeds in rehabilitating Patryk and also shows a way forward to forgive the people who, inadvertently, for varied reasons, might have committed a crime.

“Johnny” shows that giving a second chance itself is a risk but one worth taking. And especially when the Roman Catholic Church is in the season of lent, the film becomes a harbinger of forgiveness, peace, charity, and compassionate mercy.


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Carlos Luis
Carlos Luis
Carlos is a perpetual learner who believes that knowledge is limitless. He enjoys reading non-fiction and is passionate about watching, analyzing, and discussing movies.

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