The movie starts off with the scenic beauty of a house. Inside, a woman moves a man in a wheelchair towards an interview with what seems like a group of professionals. The woman seems to be very distressed and greets the professors. The wheelchair-bound man, Mateusz, suffers from severe cerebral palsy. The interviewers look at Mateusz in a very incredulous way. The woman urges him to speak, but he has a very hard time doing so. The movie flashes back to the past where we see Mateusz’s past. He’s always had a hard time grasping things. It’s 1987, and the doctor is observing Mateusz’s activities.
She gives him brain puzzles to see his mental capacity and his way of finding the answers. Mateusz carefully solves the puzzles as his mother and the doctor watches him keenly. She finally comes to the conclusion that he’s mentally disabled and cannot understand or comprehend anything. His mother tries to tell the doctor that he does respond to some of her words, but the doctor doesn’t believe her and just tells her, that Mateusz can only understand some words like animals do. The doctor even goes on to tell her that Mateusz is just a vegetable with no prospects of being normal. She even advises his mother to place him in a special care facility, because she will never be able to bond with her child, but his mother refuses to give up.
She instead takes him home with the hopes that he might be normal one day. Even his sister tells their mother that he’ll never be able to walk and talk like the rest of us, but her mother doesn’t care. She does everything in her power to take care of Mateusz. His sister despises him and says that people won’t even know if he’s alive and that he’s useless. Their mother just berates her and watches all their movements keenly to find any kind of progress. Both his mother and father play with him and love him to bits. Mateusz slithers around the floor for movement, and his parents are happy to see even the tiniest bit of progress. Mateusz smiles. Eventually, Mateuszat’s enough for his family. His father even builds him a phone close to the floor in case he gets in trouble. Eventually, Mateusz starts to make noises to communicate as he grows up and up. His parents are ecstatic. They start to pick up on the noises he makes for different kinds of things he wants.
He watches all the children playing in the park and is upset that he can’t join them. His parents take him to all kinds of doctors, healers, and even pastors, but he doesn’t get better. They offer a priest tons of money, but he doesn’t accept it, saying there’s no way Mateusz would heal. His parents are devastated. His mother takes him to a park and just ponders his future, while consoling him that everything is going to be alright. Mateusz tries his hardest to talk, but the words don’t come out of his mouth. His mother asks him what he wants, but he can’t answer it, and this disheartens her even more. Mateusz narrates in the background about how his life is so difficult since he’s basically a vegetable. At home, his father taught him some things that he did, like slamming his fists on the table when he didn’t like something, and Mateusz picked it up really quickly. His mother wasn’t so happy but didn’t say anything. He was just waiting for the right moment to prove everyone wrong. He started learning about everything that people did around him. He started learning to walk slowly and eat on his own, but his siblings started hating him because their parents only paid attention to him.
His brother and sister absolutely despised it and didn’t even bother acknowledging him. He slowly started learning the alphabet and math in his day-to-day life. He observed his neighbors day and night and learned everything about them as well. Whenever they got parcels, Mateusz learned the names of all the goodies they received. His father taught him about technology and mechanics, especially when cracking open a coconut, which they had never seen before. He watched his mother sew clothes for her clients and learned about various body parts. Similarly, he watched movies and documentaries about space. One day, while he was watching TV, his mother came up to his sister, asking for her silver brooch that seemed to have gone missing. His sister just told her that she hadn’t seen it but Mateusz had. He wanted to tell his mother about the brooch that had fallen underneath a sofa. He wriggled from the couch he was sitting on towards another sofa and shouted to let his mother know. But she didn’t understand him.
His mother and sister thought he was having a seizure and never paid attention to what he was trying to say. He tried his hardest to get the brooch out but couldn’t since his mother dragged him away. Two years later, his father sat in his room while showing him the moon and the stars. He talks about all the constellations and the science behind them. Mateusz watched his father work on different objects all day because it fascinated him so much. He couldn’t decipher what his father’s true profession was because he seemed to be good at everything. Mateusz eventually thought his father was a wizard who could do anything. His parents never stopped loving him and made sure he had fun all the time, even though his sister hated this. His father loved playing with his two sons, and they played all sorts of games. The three of them got really close. Soon, news came about democracy being established after Mateusz’s father helped to bring down communism. He did all the household chores while also making sure he was always there for his children. One day, Mateusz and his father were fixing locks when they realized the old one was of no use. His father offers to go to the store to get a new lock.
Mateusz sits at the door all day just waiting for him, but he doesn’t come back. His mother curses him for being out so late. His mother tries to take him for supper, but he doesn’t budge. She tries to take him away but he stays out, so his mother just leaves him by the door. He sleeps on the floor, waiting for his father to come back. His father soon comes back and sneaks in through his bedroom window. Mateusz’s father geekily tells him about the fireworks he brought to entertain Mateusz, and soon enough, the sky is lit with colors. Mateusz watches them all excitedly. His father did all this just so he could have fun and watch them explode, as he thought they were stars. But unfortunately, his father falls from a great height just then, as he’s too drunk and dies. Mateusz doesn’t know anything about it since he can’t understand death. His family goes to his funeral, and Mateusz is now only left with his father’s teachings. Years pass and Mateusz grows up. He still continues to climb up the window sill and watch all his neighbors. That’s how he notices Anka, his neighbor whose mother happens to sleep with a different man every night. His sister, Matilda, still hates him and hits him for making fun of her desperation to find a husband, while his brother brings all these girlfriends to his home to have romantic moments with them.
Mateusz is kicked out of the room, but he still manages to see what his brother is up to and is very intrigued by it. He also wants to experience all that his brother is. One day, his brother takes him out to play in the yard when he sees Anka again. He is sitting right next to her and tries to get her attention so that she talks to him. Anka’s mother comes with alcohol and another suitor, which makes her visibly upset. Mateusz notices this and distracts her. He tries to talk to her, hand in hand with him. That’s when Anka fully focuses on him. She introduces herself to him and talks to him. She holds his hand, which makes him blush and squeal with joy. The two giggle but eventually get closer. They meet on the ground every day, and Anka reads to him, but his attention is elsewhere. He looks at the cars and even gets Anka to look. Anka surprisingly understands everything that Mateusz tries to tell her. Their bond gets deeper and she even takes him for walks and rides to the main city. Mateusz thinks he’s her boyfriend and loves the fact that he even has a girlfriend now. He imagines having a family with her since they spend every passing second together.
They watch the birds and even go to the zoo together. Anka takes him to all the places he’s never been to. They have lots of fun together and make each other really happy. Mateusz then notices deep scars on Anka’s thighs, but he can’t say anything. Something’s going on, but he doesn’t know about it. The next day, he looks at Anka’s flat to see a guy, who seems to be her stepfather, abusing her mother. Anka rushes to help her mother, but he beats her up too. Mateusz is furious to see this. Anka’s stepfather closes all the curtains and beats Anka and her mother really badly, to the point that even Mateusz can hear their screams. He wants to put that man to eternal sleep, and in a rage, he falls down from the windowsill. He shouts out of anger, and his mother comes to help him up. She doesn’t understand what has happened. As she tries to help him, both of them fall down and laugh at their antics. She’s old but still loves to take care of Mateusz. The stepfather is a very strict man and likes to control everyone. He even yells at the kids in the park, even though he has no connection to them.
This infuriates Mateusz, and he throws a vase at him. The vase misses him, and he glares at Mateusz. The next day, Anka’s stepfather drives around the park when he sees Mateusz. Mateusz tries to get him to go on a trip, and he notices this. He asks Mateusz why he’s doing all this and even mocks his disability. He calls him all sorts of names, and Mateusz starts screaming. The guy panics as Mateusz’s voice gets louder and louder. He tries to shush him, but Mateusz’s neighbor, who’s a cop, notices this. He sees Mateusz in distress and asks the bad guy what he had done. Anka’s stepfather says he hadn’t done anything, but the cop and he soon got into a fight, and the cop beat him up. He was soon arrested. Mateusz is really happy to see this. He thinks it’s a miracle, but on the other hand, the miracle backfires on him. Due to the fight, Anka and her family are moving away. Mateusz is really sad to see this and he even cries. Anka is upset too and rushes to Mateusz’s flat to meet him one last time. She stands at his door and tells him that she’s going back to her grandma’s before her stepfather can get out of jail and punish them. Mateusz screams and tries to open the lock on the door, but he can’t even reach it. They look at each other from under the doors and grab one another’s fingers. They’re both really upset to be parted from each other. Mateusz speaks for the first time that day and confesses how much he loves her, but it’s almost in gibberish.
Mateusz is deeply saddened to see her gone, and just stares at Anka’s flat day n night. A couple of years pass and Mateusz has grown some more, but his condition isn’t any better. His brother and he played with each other during a family dinner. Mateusz’s brother makes him laugh and giggle. Matilda is finally married and has come to dinner with her husband. She refuses to even look at Mateusz because she still hates him so much. His mother brings in the food, and everyone enjoys it while chatting. Mateusz is left alone and he wants to join them. Matilda and her husband are moving back in with the family due to some problems. Mateusz’s mother doesn’t like them moving in since there isn’t much space, and Matilda can’t even stand the sight of Mateusz. As they’re drinking, Matilda tells her mother to think about Mateusz since she’s very old now and can’t lift him. Mateusz’s brother works on ships and can’t take Mateusz along. This causes a huge fight to break out between the two. Matilda thinks he’s a burden and they should just get rid of him. since no one has the time to carry Mateusz everywhere. Mateusz’s mother asks them to stop fighting and that she can take care of him very well. Matilda just rolls her eyes, saying Mateusz is the only one who has ever gotten love in the family. The next day, he’s watching out the window to see children playing in the snow. He wants to join them too.
His mother comes in to get his clothes changed and tries to pull him away, but she falls backward and hurts herself pretty badly in the process. Mateusz tries to move as fast as he can to his mother, but she doesn’t wake up. He’s really worried about her but can’t really do anything. After this incident, Matilda and her husband, Adam, drive him away to a special facility. Everyone there seems to have been abandoned by their family, and Mateusz is shocked but intrigued to see so many different people in the facility. He thinks he’s here for a change, not knowing that his family will never visit him again. He is worried but can’t really express it. He has to share his room with two other disabled people. He tries telling himself that everything’s fine and he’ll get used to it as some other patients come to visit him and they don’t seem too bad. A couple of days pass, and one morning, the nurses and doctor come into his room. They talk among themselves, and Mateusz screams at them, asking to be placed by the window. He’s tired of just laying down, but no one can understand him and he has no way to communicate.
He wants to meet his mother really badly, but he can’t, and this makes him agitated. He looks around at all the people, and some of them seem to like the place as they have fun, while others hate it. All of them share the same bathroom and act like a family. They play around and celebrate birthdays. They’re taught a lot of skills and bonded a lot. But even after all this, Mateusz hates the place. He wants his mother to take him away. One day, his mother finally comes to visit him, but she can’t summon the strength to come before him. Mateusz sees her nonetheless and gets excited. His mother comes and greets him. She kisses him on the forehead and tells him all about the family and the neighbors. She feeds him the food that she brought, and Mateusz begins to think that he’s going home with his mother. As his mother begins to leave, he realizes that he’s stuck in the facility. This destroys him, and he doesn’t say anything. The patients there try to befriend him, but he’s too bitter to care. But pastors come in every day and bless the patients to have an easy life, but he hates it.
He thinks God despises him for all the suffering he’s been through. He hates all the staff and gives them a really hard time until a new volunteer joins them. She’s really beautiful with a curvy body, and Mateusz is instantly attracted to her. He becomes calm in his body. She comes to feed him. He rates all the women there on a scale of ten, depending on who has the nicest body, but he can’t be vocal about it, so no one ever knows what’s going on in his head. His mother comes to visit him from time to time and reads him the letters sent by his brother from the sea. She’s really hurt by her son’s condition. She apologizes to him, but he already hates her for leaving him at the facility. He thinks that his father would never have abandoned him. That’s when he falls to the ground while shouting for his mother to come back. The staff rushes in and suits him up in boxing gear so that he doesn’t hurt himself anymore, and they even treat his lips and teeth, which he always bites accidentally whilst eating his food.
His lips are fixed now, but he hates his life even more. In an attempt to get the staff’s attention, he accidentally falls down a flight of stairs and hurts himself really badly. Everyone rushes to help him, and he smiles, thinking he’s finally got everyone to talk to him and care for him. He smiled for the first time in years. Years pass and Mateusz is still stuck in the facility. One day, a beautiful young woman comes to the facility, where the staff introduces her to all the patients there, including Mateusz. She’s a volunteer there, and Mateusz instantly takes a liking to her because of her beauty. He stays calm whenever she’s there. The volunteer, whose name is Magda, even cracks jokes and talks to him, unlike the others, who treat him like a vegetable. She tells him stories while feeding him and even laughs along with him. She brings out her stereo to play Mateusz her favorite song and dances in front of him to entertain him. Mateusz starts falling for Magda because she’s so kind and beautiful and even treats him so well.
He could watch her all day and not get tired. She even dances with him, and Mateusz rejoices. The owner of the facility barges in and Magda stops. She tells the owner that Mateusz calms down when she plays music and reacts to her whenever she talks to him. He doesn’t believe her and tells her that Mateusz cannot understand feelings or people. But Magda defends him, saying his expressions tell otherwise. One day, Mateusz has just finished showering when he sees a guard looking at some adult magazines. He’s intrigued by it and joins in to look at all the unclothed women there. Magda sees Mateusz looking at the women in awe and is not sure that he’s just like all the other people out there. He just can’t express it. This results in a deeper bond between the two. They go outdoors and smoke and laugh together. Mateusz is no longer interested in visiting his mother. He doesn’t pay any attention to her even when she brings him his favorite food. She reads him the letters sent by her brother, Tomek, but he doesn’t care. It’s Mateusz’s twenty-fifth birthday, and his mother has brought a cake. Magda introduces herself and his mother thanks her for taking care of him. Magda wishes Mateusz a very happy birthday and leaves.
The next morning, she comes in and tells him that she has a present for him. She shows him a magazine with adult pics and notices his keen interest in it. She then removes her own clothes to let him feel her obvious, which makes him really excited. The two get even closer, and she starts to take him on walks and even car rides. She eventually brings him to a family dinner with her whole family and introduces him as her fiance. Her whole family is shocked, but they don’t say anything. It’s her father’s birthday and she hands him a present, constantly bringing up her mother, who’s dead now. Her stepmother gets uncomfortable but keeps quiet. Her father ignores her and continues talking about himself. Magda then asks everyone to stand to sing him a happy birthday song, and all of them do so, even though they’re very hesitant. Magda has the habit of dating people that society doesn’t deem acceptable. Because of this, her father mocks her and asks her to date a normal man for once instead of cripples, substance addicts, or homeless people. Her father’s taunts enrage her and they start to argue. But Mateusz doesn’t like it. He falls off his chair as he’s trying to drink his wine. Magda helps him up, and he slowly apologizes to her. She quickly takes him and walks away from the family dinner, despite her father’s asking her to stay. The next day, the owner comes up to him and tells him that she has quit. Mateusz is devastated to hear this. The owner leaves soon, and Mateusz is left alone.
He smiles to himself but keeps quiet. He listens to the staff sing Happy Birthday to one another, and this reminds him of Magda. He becomes very quiet and numb after Magda is completely gone from his life. His mother comes to visit him again and talks to him about Tomek and Matilda. Matilda’s husband left her alone with her kids and ran away. This brings a smile to Mateusz’s face. His mother continues talking about her neighbors, and Mateusz just listens in. He can’t take it any longer and starts sobbing violently. His mother is shocked to see his sudden outbursts and starts crying too. She wipes his tears away while trying to console him that everything will be okay. Months pass, and seasons change. There’s a festival going on in the facility, and Mateusz is excited to be a part of it. He watches all the dance performances with keen interest. He sees patients like him too, and this makes him happier. All of them dance around to the music and have fun. There are a lot of cerebral palsy patients, and it seems the staff has finally understood that the patients can understand feelings and words. The nurses start to teach the cerebral palsy patients some basic signs and words to communicate.
Mateusz is finally happy that he’s being understood. He loves to be a part of the learning process. The patients are given physiotherapy for better body structures. Mateusz waits for Ms. Jola, the teacher, to come and talk to him, but she never does. This makes Mateusz scream for her. No one understands him and thinks he’s having a seizure. They bring out an injection to sedate him, but Ms. Jola stops them. She comes up to him and talks to him, which instantly calms him down. He tries to talk to her, and this makes Ms. Jola really interested. She starts talking to him and teaching him as well. He picks up all the words and commands really well. He’s the most intelligent cerebral palsy patient there and starts to communicate really well. Different scientific professors are brought in to analyze him. His mother is also called in to watch his improvement, and she’s really proud of him. She talks to him, and for the first time, he communicates back. He finally tells her that he’s not a vegetable and hates being treated as such. This causes her to sob in pain, along with Mateusz. Even Matilda feels guilty for treating him so badly over the years. Mateusz cries and grieves for a while until they finally bond.
Mateusz forgives Matilda, and they all talk and giggle. Ms. Jola was touched to see them. He gets a brand new room at the facility, and everything is just like he’s always wanted. He’s very happy to see everyone treating him as a human now. Ms. Jola continues teaching him all sorts of symbols and words. Mateusz picks it all up very fast. Soon enough, reporters come in to write about Mateusz, and professors come in to teach him about computers and lots of other subjects. His story has been published in newspapers and magazines. He comes back home and is finally happy, not realizing that he’s only a visitor. He meets up with his niece and nephews. Tomek comes back home too, and they all stay together like a happy family. Mateusz starts watching out of the windowsill all over again, but his nephew joins him this time, and the two of them love stargazing. Mateusz goes back to the facility soon. His family is informed that he can’t stay in the facility any longer since he’s not intellectually disabled. The staff suggests transferring him to a more appropriate facility. Mateusz’s mother understands and agrees, but Mateusz has to pass an interview before transferring into the facility. The new facility is really beautiful, but it’s far.
His mother tells him it’s best for him, and that’s how he’s sent into the interview. His mother presents him in front of the professors and asks him to speak, but he doesn’t. The professors ask him a bunch of questions, but he doesn’t answer any. Instead, he just screams and giggles. They think he’s a moron and send him away. Mateusz doesn’t like it and tries to show the professors that he isn’t a moron. He stands up on his own for the first time in his life, and his mother is shocked. The professors aren’t impressed and send him away. He’s brought back to the same facility. He’s very happy to be back since he never wanted to go to the new facility. He’s returned to his room, where he watches the stars through his telescope while typing on his computer. He is very intelligent and knows a lot about astrology. He continues watching the stars because of his interest and is still spending his life in the same facility.
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