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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Forgetful Henk, 17 July 2010
Author: Chip_douglas from Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands
It's not so simple reviewing a movie that deals with amnesia, for the
more you give away about the plot, the less use it will be for others
to seek out the film. In the case of the Filmmuseum release 'De
Verlegen Medeminnar', the back of the DVD gets around all this by
concentrating on the history of Joop Landré's production company De
Nederlandse Filmproductie Maatschappij. The N.F.M. only produced five
feature films. Two of them were what we would now call art-films
directed by Fons Rademarks, the other three were thrillers modeled
after American and French examples.
Already a familiar face on Television, actor's actor Henk van Ulsen makes his film debut here as the amnesiastic lead character who takes on the name 'Dries' for lack of a better one after meeting a beautiful doctors assistant in the rest house he was sent to. The police are also keeping an eye on him, as he was found carrying a knife. As Hilde, the doctor's assistant, Hetty Verhoogt looks more beautiful than ever. In fact, the entire film is extremely well shot by Eddie van den Enden.
The screenplay is based on Rico Bulthuis' 1946 novel 'het Andere Verleden'. To add a bit more intrigue to the story, writers John Korporaal (also the director), Piet Ruyvenkamp and Kees Stip added two thriller elements to the script. Firstly the aforementioned police suspecting Dries of having committed a murder, secondly his friend confiding in him (before he loses his memory of course) to have been implicated in a crime.
Slowly but surely snippets of memory start coming back to 'Dries', and he begins his own investigation into his past without telling doctor Berends. However he is hindered by disturbing visions of a bearded man who is following him (and who looks suspiciously like Dries himself). Meanwhile, a young couple who know exactly who Dries is, refuse to inform either the police or the doctor, as it suits the man better if Dries would remain silent.
Truth be told, the ending is a bit anti-climactic by today's standards. There is no chase or action of any kind, just a by the book explanation of Dries' true identity and how he came to roam the streets without his memory but with a knife. Of course by this time keen eyed audience members will have deduced some of it for themselves already. Still, the strong performances, gorgeous black and white photography and jazzy score combine for an enjoyable look back at the Netherlands in the Sixties. Whereas other countries produced B-movies by the dozen, the Netherlands only brought forth three, and they should be savored.
8 out of 10
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