Five close friends, all of them married, share a loft to meet their mistresses. One day they find the body of a young woman in the loft. Since there are only five keys to the loft, the five men begin to suspect each other of murder.
Erik Van Looy
Koen De Bouw,
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Antje de Boeck
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Frank van Mechelen
Koen De Bouw,
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Koen De Graeve,
Mieke De Groote,
Vincke and Verstuyft are one of the best detective teams of the Antwerp police force. When they are confronted with the disappearance of a top official and the murder of two prostitutes, the trail leads to the almost retired assassin Angelo Ledda. Since Ledda starts showing symptoms of Alzheimer's, it's getting more and more difficult to complete his contracts. When he has to murder a 12-year old call-girl, he refuses and becomes a target himself. While Vincke and Verstuyft are chasing him and counting the corpses, Ledda is taking care of his employers. Written by
Noirish police story as twisted as the killer's mind
This Belgian film was titled "The Memory of A Killer" when it played in Austin in September. Known in Europe as "The Alzheimer Case," it's a police procedural about an aging hit man with early Alzheimer's who agrees to complete what he knows is his last assignment. Movies featuring a character with Alzheimer's are often somber, bittersweet weepers. "The Memory of a Killer" is nothing like that.
It's a taut, fast-paced noir with a protagonist who lives by the same code as that of Alain Delon in Jean Pierre Melville's "Le Samourai" or Jean Gabin in "Touchez Pas Au Grisbi." The hit man Angelo Ledda is portrayed by Belgian actor Jan Decleir. He won his country's top acting award and other European festival honors for his nuanced, empathic performance.
How Ledda knows what's happening to his mind is explained in a way totally credible to anyone who has known someone suffering from this disease. Even as his mind slips away, he retains his morality about certain crimes and that code eventually sends him in directions that surprise and anger his employer. Ledda's crimes and related crimes drive two police investigators - and Ledda - in a race against time. The plot threads become as tangled and mysterious as the tangles in Ledda's diseased mind and unravel in a stunning conclusion.
This film was made by Belgian director Erik Van Looy, whose stylish work won top honors along with Decleir. The film is based on the novel "De Zaak Alzheimer" by popular Belgian detective novelist Jef Geeraerts. Hopefully, it and his other novels will be translated into English. Geeraerts' psychological approach evokes another Belgian writer, the incomparable Georges Simenon. This is the first of Geeraerts' stories to reach the big screen, and Hollywood has bought the rights to a remake. Don't wait; see the original. Decleir's portrayal should not be missed.
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