Feedback, the brand-new Polish Netflix mini-series, delves deep into the subject of alcoholism. Through five episodes, the writer and the director hold a mirror of this horrendous vice. The chain of effects and consequences impact not only the person suffering from this addiction but also their families and friends. Marcin Kania is the lead character of the show, and nothing is redeeming about this man. As the story in the show progresses, his life spirals further, with no solution in sight.
Marcin Kania’s story begins with him waking up at his estranged wife’s home and worrying about his son Piotrek, whom he had met the previous night. The man claims to have no memory of the night, but as the days go by, he can recall memories and the conversation from that night. Marcin is sure that his son has been missing, and his faded memory gives him an indication that he was kidnapped by a bunch of dangerous men. Marcin was a realtor and made decent enough money to indulge in alcohol. Marcin’s words cannot be taken seriously because the man has had a long history with alcohol, blackouts, and waking up with no memory of the previous night. There have been many incidents that involved him physically and verbally abusing his wife and kids. This was stated as a valid reason for not believing his statement regarding his son’s disappearance.
There was also talk that maybe Marcin killed Piotrek in a fit of rage, but there was no evidence to prove that theory. Nevertheless, his forever drunken state led to the first setback because the police were helpless in the case of Piotrek’s disappearance. Marcin, his wife, and daughter Ula are certain Piotrek is alive and keen to find out who kidnapped him. Marcin remembers his son informing him about a group of dangerous men willing to kill him, but beyond that, Marcin was unable to get a grip on his faculties. His inner voice constantly described his horrendous state of mind. The voice that spoke to him made him carry out many unspeakable acts, and there was no end to his alcohol spells. He was a regular at Alcoholics Anonymous sessions, but his inner voice never allowed him to take the sessions seriously.
Despite his biggest drawback, Marcin actively participates and relentlessly questions the police about the investigation, and many uncomfortable truths come out. A nexus around the re-privatization of real estate and throwing out long-term tenants to pave the way for new ones was discovered. The companies involved in throwing out elderly people from the apartments then passed them on to Marcin to resell them to rich prospective clients. Marcin feels guilty of having involved himself in a crime ring such as this. Previously, he was always under the false impression that Piotrek was involved in a crusade against mass re-privatization, and he is killed by the rich real estate moguls.
The show is filled with many flashback sequences that help the audience understand that Marcin’s condition has remained bad for many years. Some alcohol spells messed with his memories and anger issues. He ended up hallucinating and could not draw a line between what was real and what was not. Marcin’s history with alcohol had severely affected his relationship with Piotrek, Ula, and his now estranged wife. He was asked to move out because of his abusive nature. Marcin never understood the repercussions of his actions. Even though he never gave up on alcohol, his search for his son comes across as farce because he feels the need to prove himself as a resourceful father. His parallel investigation comes to a standstill when Poitrek’s body is found hanging deep inside a forest, and the police rule it a case of suicide.
Marcin is sure his son’s case is being mishandled and goes rogue in a fit of rage, which was again fueled by his alcohol binge. Marcin is surprised that his son worked for the real estate mogul and infiltrated the protester’s group that was fighting against re-privatization. Piotrek earned good money by leaking information to his employers but soon realized many of the elderly would be rendered homeless. Marcin also learns that Piotrek had an affair with Ewa, who was the leader of the protest group. She soon found out about his role in leaking information from her office. She broke up with him, and Piotrek had nowhere to go.
Marcin had gone after his friends in real estate after being under the impression that they were responsible for his son’s death, which they passed off as suicide. Marcin was unwilling to believe that he, as a father, could have been a contributing figure in his son’s death. As the show approached its end, the police recovered Piotrek’s phone, which contained a voicemail he was meant to send to Marcin right after the dinner they had. The voicemail was the last message his son left for him, and it sent shockwaves around his mind and body.
On the night of the dinner, Piotrek approached his father to speak about the dilemma he was in, both professionally and personally. Marcin had shown up drunk and did not bother to listen to and comprehend his son’s predicament. Piotrek was done with his father being insensitive to him and had hoped his father would evolve due to therapy and the AA sessions. He was quick to learn that his father was too selfish to understand how he had affected his family. The voicemail left by his son made it clear that Marcin was an awful parental figure who never took his addiction seriously. Marcin was given a reality check through this last message left by his son, and he received no closure.
Marcin’s memory starts coming back to him, and he realizes he had gravely injured his friend from the AA sessions. Marcin’s search for his son’s killer concluded when his voicemail proved that Marcin was inadvertently responsible for Piotrek’s suicide. His voicemail left him in a dire state and made him reconsider all his decisions so far. He decided to come clean to his therapist and the AA session group. The team wanted to remove him from the group for making a mockery of the healing sessions he claimed to be learning from. Marcin soon realized he almost lost the opportunity to heal from the pain he inflicted on himself and his loved ones, but he will also try to be a better human being and actively listen to what people are trying to convey. Hopefully, Marcin, as a character, would learn something from the painful ordeal he went through. Even though his place in AA sessions is in jeopardy, he feels there is still light at the end of the tunnel for him.