How I fell in Love with a Gangster ending explained – will Nikos turn into a turtle or stay a tiger?

January 13, 2022
M.N. Miller 0
Ending Explained, Film, Netflix, Streaming Service

This article discusses the ending of the Netflix film How I Fell in Love with a Gangster (2022) and will contain spoilers.

Ready Steady Cut film critic, M.N. Miller, called How I Fell in Love with a Gangster “Overwrought with style and uneven storytelling.”

How I Fell in Love with a Gangster is a highly dramatized, not biography, but perhaps an oral history of Poland’s most notorious gangster, Nikodem Nikos Skotarczak. He told his friends he wanted to live like a tiger, not a turtle. Meaning, he could get more out of life by living a couple of years than 20 painfully slow and dull ones. The bread and butter of his business is specializing in illegal imports in several countries, East to West and West to East. Along the way, he builds a criminal empire under the canopy of legitimate car businesses, and some clever prison escapes.

You can’t cage a tiger.

Netflix film How I Fell in Love with a Gangster ending explained

On April 24th, 1998, Nikos (played by Tomasz Wlosokwas) at the Las Vegas Go-Go Club never saw his family again as Nikos was back and wanted to normalize his life. Nikos intends to start a compound with his wives, dozens of children, and family members. At the same time, his on again off again Milena (Agnieszka Grochowska) tries to pay off the powers that be with sexual favors not to jail him again. Why? Not just because of her relationship, but because he is just that little boy who never grew up (she is most likely the narrator of the story who also took Nikos’s fortune).

No one knows how he was killed. Was it an inside hit of his staff? The pride of Pruszkow to take over Tricity? The Lodz Octopus could have taken them out since Nikos would step on all eight arms with impunity. The film shows all the possible suspects taking shots at him outside that club.

However, as a dramatic storytelling choice, the “young” Nikos keeps showing up all over the film during critical life moments for Nikos’s adult criminal. Why? This may signify that the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father stunted his social and emotional growth. Nikos consumes life like a child who was never told no. Drugs, alcohol, women, and unlimited power, all well into his adult years. 

By the end, perhaps Milo was right. He was a little boy trapped in a man’s body who had not matured emotionally into an adult. Stuck in the stage of Industry vs. Inferiority and never learned humility. 

What did you think of the ending of the Netflix film How I Fell in Love with a Gangster? Comment below!

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