This article discusses the ending of the Netflix film Autumn Girl and will contain spoilers.
Ready Steady Cut writer, Adam Lock, called Autumn Girl “a monotonous biopic lacking any drama or depth.”
In the sixties, singer and actress Kalina Jedrusik was one of the most famous celebrities in her home country of Poland. Seen as a sex symbol and fashion icon, she quickly lost all her notoriety due to a scorned TV executive. Rysiek Molski banned her from any further TV appearances, stating that the public had complained about her provocative stage persona and revealing dress sense. In reality, Rysiek had made immoral advances on the married woman and she had turned him down. A jealous Rysiek fought back by cutting her out of Polish media entirely and bankrupting her financially.
This male dominance and destructive masculinity is carelessly pushed aside in Autumn Girl, although it had the potential to make for interesting viewing. The filmmakers chose instead to throw in irregular dance numbers and apparitions of smoking nuns (honestly). Yes, there are some strange musical sequences in this biography, including one at a party in which the crowd begins to erratically jive, whilst Kalina sips on some alcohol. The dance number keeps on going and going, even after she’s left. Was this supposed to be funny or abstract? And yes there really is a scene involving a ghostly nun. Kalina talks to this apparition, who says she is Kalina’s anxiety. Later she is revealed to be just an actress on the set. Again, I’m unsure of the purpose of this altercation, is it just more filler or a meaningful side note?
As Kalina struggles to adjust to life away from the limelight, without much real soul searching she finds her self-respect. The sex symbol dumps her second lover (Lucek) and confronts the Head of TV entertainment, Rysiek. On returning to the set, she notices that someone has replaced her as the Autumn Girl (Kalina’s starring role). She swears at Rysiek and storms off. Then there is another bizarre arthouse-inspired scene, where Kalina watches her argument with Rysiek play out on the cinema screen. After this, we find Kalina in a foamy bathtub, before she dances in a wet towel at a house party and kisses a stranger. The movie feels more like a collection of random scenes rather than a cohesive narrative.
Netflix film Autumn Girl ending explained
The film ends with Kalina confronting Rysiek again, this time at his office. Rysiek has just fired his secretary because she too turned him down and Kalina is furious. She seems ready to make a grand speech on sexism or straight up vandalize the office, yet chooses to leave instead. Whilst exiting the room, she is informed she has won an award and must be reinstated as the studio’s top billing star. Kalina demands a pay rise and a new fur coat. Rysiek begrudgingly agrees and she heads home to celebrate. This feels like a cheap get-out, with no real build-up or consideration, which we’ve come to expect.
In a final scene, Kalina dances on stage in a revealing dress, singing about sex. It becomes apparent that she is back on TV and may have started to change broadcasting standards, but she isn’t exactly breaking gender stereotypes here. It’s an odd end to an odd film, are we to believe that she has won? Is this a victory for feminism? The facts are, she regains her job and proves that there is room for provocation on the TV, with Kalina being as popular as she ever was. Although in an end credits scene an old man hurls his shoe at the TV. You can’t please everyone.
What did you think of the Netflix film Autumn Girl and the ending? Comment below.