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While camping in France, Dutch friends Eric and Eddy fall in with two women. Eric talks to Silke, a Ugandan studying medicine in Holland. She tells him about her life and asks about the book he's writing: it's the story of his love affair with Reza. He tells her the story and we see it in flashbacks: Reza explodes into his boring life, she's unpredictable, their relationship becomes intense. She moves in with him, pushes him to write instead of studying law, then jealousy and fits of bizarre self-destruction become part of her quixotic moods. How does Eric's story end? Written by
I'm watching the film as I'm writing this review. At the same time I am also reading other user reviews. And I must say that I do agree with a lot that's said in the other reviews, but also disagree with some.
First, the story is quite shallow. I must say that I don't like stories that build on exceptional situations like borderline syndrome, because the effect of that is that there's no real explanation for (in this case) Reza's behaviour. She behaves in a strange way and the viewer needs to have some sort of an explanation for that, which the story doesn't give you. But at the same time, Angela Schijf is brilliant in the way she acts. You can see that she really tries to make the most out of this terrible script. Her acting is very convincing, which is a real achievement.
Eric's behaviour is strange in a way too. Eric only reacts with surprise and disgust. But he never tries to find out more about her and never tries to help her. He says "it's killing me too", but you don't see that in the story. Eric is more like a spectator. He writes about Reza, but we never get to know what he's written. And to make it even worse, he also is the narrator of the story and being the story-teller he has to pronounce some pathetic lines. The entire film consists of flash-backs while he's telling the story to (again) a new girlfriend, Silke. The new girlfriend, beautiful as she may be, is completely useless in the story. So also this actor, Anthony Kamerling, is handicapped with a very bad script. He also makes the best of it and acts very very well. But the audience will never feel compassion or even understanding for this character. He's just annoying.
Third, I want to mention Fraser, Eric's friend. He has to pronounce such terrible lines that it's astonishing that Beau van Erven Dorens succeeds in making them sound to convincing.
Some of the bad aspects of this film are so typically Dutch. In Dutch films dating from before (say) 2003, the sound is very bad. It sounds like the actors have their heads in a bucket. Sometimes you can hear the acoustic qualities of the room they're in, sometimes you don't. Sometimes a living room sounds like a bathroom, sometimes a bathroom sounds as acoustically dead as a garden. Sometimes the sound is harsh, sometimes flat, but mostly hard to hear or understand. About the visual quality: although the images are beautiful, the image quality is bad. Colours are flat or washed out, in dark scenes there's a lot of noise, it's never really crisp or sharp.
The most annoying thing in my opinion is the sex. There's so much nudity in this film, sex is so important in the story and both Angela Schijf and Anthony Kamerling have such beautiful bodies that you would expect the film to be (at least) a little bit sexy. But it isn't. None of the nude scenes have an erotic quality to them and with such beautiful people it must have been really hard to make it this un-sexy.
In short: brilliant acting in a terrible picture. A complete waste of talent.
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