PRIME TIME on Netflix is a Polish thriller that has a lot of important messages. The main plot definitely isn’t innovative but the wonderful performances make it worth watching. Read our full Prime Time movie review here and check it out on Netflix now!
PRIME TIME is a new Netflix thriller from Poland. While I can’t claim that the plot is innovative, it is very interesting and a story worth telling. Especially if you pay attention to all the details.
Also, it’s worth noting that this Polish thriller premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January of 2021. It was also included in the World Cinema category for the Grand Jury Prize. It didn’t win and I can see why because while it is good, it’s not nearly as strong as it could have been. This is due to its pace and story. The actors are all quite brilliant!
Continue reading our Prime Time movie review below.
Poland entering a new millennium
The story in Prime Time plays out on New Year’s Eve of 1999, so we’re on the brink of the new millennium. Lots of real news footage from the last day of the past millennium is included and makes for a fascinating backdrop. Virtually every young Polish person interviewed talks about leaving the country.
The main plot has a young man forcing his way onto a live TV show contest on New Year’s Eve. This makes for a quite funny opening scene since he takes the female host hostage just as she called the main winner. Still, on the phone, the winner keeps asking what’s happening and why she can’t see the host on the TV screen anymore.
It’s a small detail that feels so very realistic.
The cast of Prime Time
If you’ve watched the Polish thriller series Signs (org. title Znaki) or Harlan Coben’s The Woods on Netflix, then you might recognize Malgorzata Hajewska. She plays the TV producer in this Netflix thriller.
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All the actors in Prime Time are really wonderful, but mostly, I have to highlight the star of this Polish thriller. The actor’s name is Bartosz Bielenia and he is a wonderfully androgynous actor who seems almost ageless. He recently won lots of awards when he starred in Corpus Christi (org. title Boze Cialo). A movie that was also nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar.
Really, it doesn’t matter if you know the actors or understand Polish. The story is quite universal and it’s interesting to watch the events unfold. I do feel it was a bit slow at times, but it was never not interesting.
Watch Prime Time on Netflix
Prime Time is directed by Jakub Piatek who also co-wrote the script with Lukasz Czapski. Jakub Piatek has directed short films and documentaries prior to this feature film debut. One of his short films, Users from 2018, was also co-written by Lukasz Czapski who otherwise works mainly on writing for TV series.
While the plot of this Polish Netflix thriller doesn’t feel particularly new, the setting does feel very different. Poland at the turn of the millennium is a very interesting setting and the use of real TV new footage works really well. A great addition from this former documentary filmmaker.
Check it out on Netflix if you’re curious about something that feels both familiar and new.
Prime Time is out on Netflix from June 30, 2021.
Director: Jakub Piatek
Writers: Lukasz Czapski, Jakub Piatek
Stars: Bartosz Bielenia, Magdalena Poplawska, Andrzej Klak
New Year’s Eve 1999. Twenty-year-old Sebastian, armed with a gun, hijacks a TV studio and takes two hostages—a famous TV presenter and a security guard. His plan? No one seems to know, including Sebastian himself. His demand to deliver his message, whatever that may be, via live broadcast is repeatedly thwarted by an uncertain police force and an egotistical network chairman. As the night wears on, Sebastian and the hostages bond in unexpected ways, while those in power fumble to restore order.
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