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Jeroen Krabbe plays an uncertain person ('t Hart) in this biographical
story. This uncertainty is particularly formed by his religion, and the
impact of the religion reflected on his parents (read: father). His mother
is his only support in his life, and because he has no other essential
friends, he starts to worship his mother (the so-called
All these things that occurred to him, can be seen in the several flashbacks. He gets embittered by the fact that his father dies in the easy way, and his mother dies a painful death, what happens in present time. 't Hart has now reached the age of 35, and still is a virgin. The actual story is about a compelling dream he has, in which he has to share his bed with a girl in this next week, or else he would die. As the week passes, he tries to conquer his feelings of uncertainty by talking to his other (outgoing) side, and his surroundings.
Next to the good story, this movie gives a good picture about how people lived and thought in the west of the Netherlands (in the flashbacks), during the years after worldwar II ('50s-'60s).
While you see the movie a certain sympathy is created with the main character. The film is for a great part biographical, and hence if you are familiar with the works of Maarten 't Hart, I would recommend this movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
'Een vlucht regenwulpen' ('A flock of whimbrels') leans heavily on the
beautiful images of (mostly) rural (western) Holland. The other big
plus is Jeroen Krabbé; he is perfect for the role of the clever, but
lonely and plagued by religious torment Maarten (and his alter ego, who
is rather sly). But the story consists of mostly repetitions of the
same problem: Maarten does not know how to connect with life, or, more
specifically, with women. Because of this, it lacks a proper build-up,
and so it stayed devoid of the intended emotional impact.
In the final half hour things do pick up, but it's hardly enough. The imaginative side of Maarten (fantasy, flashbacks) was actually very well (and smoothly) done at times, but things hardly ever come together as the powerful story that it should have been. I don't remember having read the book (though back in school, I'm I sure once must have), but I'll immediately assume that the Dutch literary classic (written by Maarten 't Hart) is far superior to this.
5 out of 10.
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