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Het debuut (1977)

5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 194 users  
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The delicate story of the impossible love between an older married man and a fourteen-year old schoolgirl.

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Title: Het debuut (1977)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marina de Graaf ...
Carolien
Gerard Cox ...
Hugo
Pleuni Touw ...
Rita
Kitty Courbois ...
Carolien's Mother
Dolf de Vries ...
Carolien's Father
Wendy Ferwerda ...
Susan
Sandrien Van Brakel ...
Tanja
Pieter Fleury ...
Jacques
Joop Keesmaat
Judith Hees
Simone Ettekoven
Hans Kemna
Adrian Brine
Yvette Merlin
Mathilde Willink
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Storyline

A 14 year old girl and a 41 year old friend of her father's fall in love, and soon their relationship grows into a sexual one as well. For some time all is happy, but then the tension grows too much, because of the secrecy and frustration of being the lover of a married man, and because she feels he starts to treat her too much like a child instead of a lover. Written by Andre Engels <engels@win.tue.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Romance

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Release Date:

18 May 1977 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

The Debut  »

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User Reviews

 
Daring theme spoiled by bad directing and acting



Daring theme. I like that. A sexual relationship between an adult and a child/youngster. And without showing the child as merely a victim of an adult predator. The sex is wanted and enjoyed by both partners. At the same time, the movie does also not fall in the other extreme of showing the girl as basically a seductress. At the end, she can be seen as the victim of the relationship, but not because she was too young or too experienced to understand about sex. She is a victim because she was dreaming of more, of a lasting relationship. While he neither can nor wants to leave his wife. She is a victim like so many mistresses of married men are victims.

Daring theme, yes. But when one looks further, little more positive can be said. The movie does not succeed in making the characters live. For a part this has to do with the plot, that keeps looking at the relationship from the outside, we do not really get to the inside of the characters, which is especially pitiful in the last third of the movie. But most is lost simply through bad acting and directing. Most obvious is this in the girl who plays Carolien's girlfriend. She seems to just be saying her lines, without any realization that these lines have some kind of emotional meaning. And that she should use a tone of voice that fits that meaning. And Marina de Graaf (Carolien) and several other supporting actors make a similar type of mistake. All in all, the movie is too much TELLING its story instead of SHOWING it.

The idea is good, and has the possibility of giving a movie that leads to moral discussions amongst its viewers. But then one would need to give the viewer some interest in its characters first. And that's where this movie fails miserably. One can even wonder whether it HAS any characters.


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