The Hater is a 2020 Polish film from director Jan Komasa, written by Mateusz Pacewicz, and starring Maciej Musialowski, Vanessa Aleksander, Danuta Stenka.
Society and the works
The Hater follows Tomasz as he tries to climb the social ladder and win the love of Gabi, the daughter of his benefactors, towards whom he has nursed feelings for since he was a kid. This might seem like a simple and naïve enough plot, but it really isn’t.
If you thought Joe Goldberg was creepy, you’d love to meet Tomasz. He’s the driving force behind this movie. The whole thing rests on his shoulders, and boy, does he do an amazing job with it.
The world takes Tomasz as a naïve guy who can cause no harm to others. Which is kinda true from his exterior, but he’s a master manipulator and is so creepy that he’d scare you to get off the internet for good. After he gets thrown out of his law school for plagiarism, he joins a shady PR firm who do the worst possible things to defame celebrities from any field. And it is here that he finds his calling.
Tomasz is an agent of chaos. He manipulates people like it’s his second nature. And he does so very smarty – both online and off. He thrives in the environment of chaos and can mobilise people like no other – rights, freedom and democracy be damned.
He stalks, manipulates and ultimately is the reason for the huge tragedy in Gabi’s (and a lot of people’s) life – but there seems to be no remorse behind what he does. It’s chilling and terrifying – he never feels any form of guilt.
However, although Tomasz shows emotions, he cries and sometimes looks happy, but no one really knows the real reason behind it. He’s always scheming, always thinking of his next move, and everything he does, there’s a reason behind it.
The Hater also very nicely and subtly portrays class divide. Gabi, her sister, their boyfriends – all can just pack up their bags and move to another city to start their lives afresh. However, such is not the case for Tomasz and a lot of others, who do not have the means and have to be stuck where they are.
Maciej Musialowski is a brilliant actor. He’s just the right amount of naïve and innocent (on the face), to complement his scheming and manipulative interior. It’s a breeze to watch him act out a man who can make everyone dance to his tune – both in his personal and professional lives. I cannot say enough to express how much I loved him in The Hater.
Social media is a scary place, and Tomasz is the reason why you’d feel so. You’d be feeling bad about him one second, but the very next moment he’ll do something so frightening that you’d want to close everything down and hide somewhere.
The only genuinely positive character in the whole movie is Pawel Rudnicki, a politician running for Mayor of Warsaw. Poor thing didn’t even stand a chance against Tomasz, and you’ll be reminded of it at every moment.
Summing up: The Hater
I don’t want to get into too much of the story, because you honestly need to watch this, and I don’t want to spoil it. The Hater is one of the best movies I’ve watched in 2020. It’s absolutely f-ed up and it’s so good that you’d be glued to your screen for its 2-hours 16-minutes runtime. It’s an absolute must-watch – not just because of the story, but also for its flawless performances.
The Hater is streaming on Netflix.