The Polka King (2017)

DailyView: Day 259, Movie 364

Today’s DailyView is on Netflix and it is a Jack Black biographical comedy film about a Polish-American polka band, led by a man named Jan Lewan. Jan Lewan was the head of a polka band and was arrested for running a Ponzi scheme that cheated seniors out of their money.

Jan Lewan was struggling to be successful with his store while pursuing his love of performing polka. When he started to take “investments”, according to the film, he did not realize what he was doing was illegal. When approached by Ron Edwards (J.B. Smoove), an officer for the SEC, Jan discovered the hole that he had found himself in. With a deadline of three days to return all the money to his investors, Jan, instead, doubled down on the scam and conned his way out of trouble.

When Jan’s wife, Marla (Jenny Slate), wanted to enter the Mrs. Pennsylvania Beauty Pageant, Jan made the victory happen. When the truth came out, the scandal frightened Jan’s investors and the light began to shine on Jan’s crooked plan.

Jack Black is fantastic as Jan Lewan. He played the Polka King with such a warmth and kindness that , despite the fact that we could see the criminal aspect of what he was doing, you couldn’t help but root for him.

One of the best parts of the film is the performance of Jacki Weaver as Barb, the mother of Marla. She had an adversarial relationship with Jan and was having an affair with Jan’s friend and band member Mickey Pizzazz (Jason Schwartzman). Weaver was hilarious in her anger and frustration with the Polka King.

The polka music was fun as Jack Black sang the songs. The polka music made the whole film feel surreal.

The film was entertaining and worth a watch on Netflix.

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