‘Too Old For Fairytales’ Recap & Ending Explained: Does Waldek Win The Robot Masters Tournament?

How is life for a chubby kid whose mother is diagnosed with cancer and whose eSports career is threatened when his great aunt is hell bent on making his life hard? Kristoffer Rus’ coming-of-age movie Too Old for Fairytales is a humble attempt to convey that everybody is enough if they don’t judge themselves by anyone else’s standards. Waldek goes through a whopping transformation when he’s forced to live with his aunt for a few days. His life of comfort and leisure takes a back seat as he faces actual challenges.


Spoilers Ahead

What happens in the movie?

Waldek is a competitive eSports player, and his best friend Staszek and a pro Rudy together form their team called the “Three Kings.” Waldek’s mother, Teresa, asked her aunt, Mariola, to take care of her son while she was away in the city to get some tests done. Teresa is overprotective of Waldek, and her love isn’t necessarily healthy. She’s manic when it comes to getting approval from people, as we see her obsessively cleaning the house before Mariola arrives. After Teresa leaves for the city, Waldek, who already doesn’t like his great aunt much, gets super annoyed at her for bossing him around. Mariola is a free-spirited woman who thinks it’s better to be proactive rather than sit and waste time thinking, and she pushes Waldek to exercise and do his own chores. Waldek starts to hate her even more, and all the work he does leads to him sleeping early at night, when he’s supposed to practice gaming with Rudy and Staszek. Rudy leaves the team, thinking he’s wasting time with losers, and now Waldek is left without a third player and the challenges his aunt constantly throws at him. 


How does Waldek learn the truth about his mother?

After Rudy leaves the team, Waldek gets sad and thinks if Teresa were with him, it wouldn’t have happened. He finds the address of the hospital his mother is at and sneaks out of the house late at night. Waldek catches the last bus to visit his mother in the hospital, but he’s shattered when he sees Teresa is bald and she’s brushing her wig. Waldek understands that she’s not in here for some regular tests, and the problem is far worse than she told him. Waldek breaks down in tears and leaves right away. Mariola understands what happened, and when Teresa calls her and inquires about Waldek being in the hospital, she makes some awful excuses to get away with it. 

Who becomes the third member of the Three Kings?

Finding a replacement for Rudy is no child’s play, and unfortunately, both our kings are mere children. They keep searching for a new player on the internet, but nobody seems to fit the criteria. A girl named Delfina, who uses a filter of a masculine ant in the video call, agrees to join their team, and the boys know that the ant is a great player whenever they’ve come across him. The ant asks them to meet outside their apartment at 5, and the boys, fearing for their safety, come up with an idea. Waldek tells Mariola that he’d run around the compound, and she should keep a stopwatch handy looking over him. Mariola takes the boys to the swimming pool afterwards, and squishmallow Waldek obviously doesn’t do well in water either. When Mariola pushes him off the water slide, he bumps into a girl, and he falls in love at first sight. The girl is Delfina, and her way of talking and humor impresses Waldek even more as he stares at her in awe with his mouth open. Delfina gives him her number and asks Waldek to meet at 5, the same time as the ant. The boys hope for the best and get downstairs, and Delfina reveals that she’s the ant. Staszek says he won’t play with a chick, and that offends Delfina, and she leaves. However, she eventually comes around to join the team, and the Three Kings change their name to Queen and Kings. 


Why do Waldek and Staszek have a fallout?

Mariola takes the newly formed team on a road trip, and they end up at a water skiing facility. Mariola obviously makes Staszek eat his own words about her being old, and she glides through water without any hiccups. When it’s Waldek’s turn, he chickens out, and Staszek does it pretty well for a first-timer. Waldek notices that Staszek has been talking with Delfina for a long time, and that makes him jealous. When he goes to talk to her, he tries to go for a kiss. Delfina rejects it and asks Waldek why they both think she can be their girlfriend. Waldek realizes that Staszek approached her before he did, and when his mom returns, he cuts ties with Staszek and leaves for his grandpa’s house. He also dumps the application form for a gaming tournament they were supposed to participate in. 

Why does Waldek grow close to Mariola? 

After his falling out with Staszek, Mariola and Waldek finally start to understand each other a bit more. Waldek starts to follow her exercise routines, and he now enjoys doing household chores. Under his mother’s parenting, he was too protected to face the world on his own, and that only harmed him more. When Mariola tells Waldek that she’ll be leaving after his mother returns, Waldek isn’t ready to let her go, and he tells her to stay; he needs her. Mariola has turned Waldek from a bratty kid into a boy who’s learning to handle responsibilities and be independent. 


What does Waldek learn from his grandfather?

Waldek’s grandfather is a wise old man who teaches Waldek how to get over his grass allergy and be a man, quite literally. Even though he has a typical masculine brain, he’s not a conservative person, and he asks Waldek if he’s in love. The conversation between the granddad and grandkid is heartwarming, and Waldek tells him that his best friend lied to him. His grandfather explains to him that there are three types of lies: one that’s born out of fear, one from stupidity, and one from love. The lies that originate from love are often the hardest to tell, and that’s what Waldek’s mother is doing to him by not telling her own father about the cancer. His grandfather tells him to give another chance to Staszek, and Waldek decides to go ahead with the advice. Teresa and Waldek open a chest from the attic, and Waldek gets to know that Mariola was a paratrooper. Mariola’s mother was always fearful of her heart stopping when her daughter went diving, and it did one day. Mariola thought it’s her fault and she quit, and that explains her hanging off the ceiling or trees, reliving her true passion and olden days. Waldek sees Mariola covering for Teresa when his grandfather notices that Teresa has spots in her hands, and he understands why his mother lied to him at first. Loved ones only lie to each other if it’s to protect their own, and Teresa had no other reason. However, her grandfather overhears Teresa booking her oncology appointment on the phone, and Waldek sees it all unfold. When they’re about to leave, his grandfather gives Waldek a pocketknife and a letter for Aunt Mariolka. 

Does Waldek win the Robot Masters Tournament?

When Mariola is about to leave for another checkup, Waldek reassures her that she has no reason to suffer alone, and he is responsible enough to cut their grief in half to take some load off of her. Instead of sitting at home doing nothing, Waldek cleans the house after they leave. When Staszek comes to see him, they don’t play games like usual; they bake a pie instead. Teresa comes home to see both the kids sleeping, and she tells Staszek that he’s a good friend. Waldek still hadn’t told Staszek that he didn’t send the application, but thank God Mariola exists. She gives him a letter, and when Waldek opens it, he finds the invitation for the tournament. Mariola secretly sent the form in after Waldek dumped it. Teresa gives Waldek good news and tells him that the doctors think that she’s going to be okay again. Waldek now gives his grandfather’s envelope to Mariolka, and she finds a skydiving ticket with a note saying “colorful birds ought to fly.” In the Robot Masters Tournament, Waldek and the team secure first place, meaning they’ll be one of the three teams that would go to Cologne, Germany, to the final round. Waldek finally gets to lift the trophy he always dreamt of, and to add to the wholesomeness of it all, he does well in the school’s fitness test. Mariola dives from a plane after decades, and she’s finally where she belongs. Queen and Kings finally leave for Germany, and by the looks of it, Delfina is kind of into Waldek now. 


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Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket is a literature student pursuing his master's degree while trying to comprehend Joyce and Pound. When his head is not shoved in books, he finds solace in cinema and his heart beats for poetry, football, and Adam Sandler in times.

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