Young Polish nobleman Jakub is saved from imprisonment by a stranger. In return, the stranger wants to obtain a list of Jakub’s fellow conspirators. As he follows his mysterious savior across the country, Jakub is affected by the overall chaos and moral corruption; he goes insane and becomes a mass murderer.
After being drafted into military service, a Polish student spends his last day coming to terms with his estranged wife, visiting old friends, and savoring some last moments of freedom.
Bearing traces of the old Anton Chekhov play The Wedding, The Contract is set during an “arranged” ceremony. The bride and groom barely know each other, but this matters not at all to their tradition-bound families. At the last minute, the bride balks. Only slightly nonplused, the groom’s father, a status-seeking doctor, decides to go ahead with the expensive reception anyway.
The main character is a bookkeeper, 40, who lives a quiet, uninteresting life with her husband and son of school age. She realizes that soon she won’t be needed much at home as the boy grows up and the relationship with her husband crumbles. It’s only when an embezzlement is discovered at the office and she stands up to her management, that she realizes life has more to offer.