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Cloaca (2003)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama | Comedy  -  23 October 2003 (Netherlands)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,479 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 7 critic

Four old college friends in their forties come together in a time of trouble and despair. Old joy relives, but the harsh reality of their problems can't satisfy them and eventually endangers their friendships.

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Title: Cloaca (TV Movie 2003)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Blok ...
Tom
...
Pieter
Gijs Scholten van Aschat ...
Joep
Jaap Spijkers ...
Maarten
Elsie de Brauw ...
Conny
Caro Lenssen ...
Laura
Marleen Stolz ...
Helena (as Marleen Stoltz)
Eric Schneider ...
Brest
...
Jacques Vermeulen
...
Lighting designer
...
Actor in play
Benjamin de Wit ...
Actor in play
Marnix Stassen ...
Percussionist
Dianne Krijnen ...
Colleague
Iwan Walhain ...
Drug courier on moped
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Storyline

The relationship of four old college friends in trouble is renewed when they get dependent on each other. Pieter doesn't want to give back eight valuable paintings he took from the art depot of the municipality for each year as a birthday present. To help him, he requests the help from Tom, once a lawyer, but now a drug addict. Politician Joep, quarrelling with his wife and in the race for becoming a member of the Dutch cabinet, is hiding at Pieter's place. Joep's daughter is actress in a play of stage director Maarten. Secretly Maarten is having sex with her and he is looking for an opportunity to tell. For some time the friendship of the four is revived, but are they willing to go through fire and water for one another? Written by Arnoud Tiele (zelva@tiele.nl)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Certificate:

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

23 October 2003 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Cloaca  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actors Peter Blok, Pierre Bokma and Gijs Scholten van Aschat and director Willem van de Sande Bakhuyzen are real life college friends. See more »

Quotes

Pieter: I rather, to be honest, want to select something from the nil-depot. That is a cellar under the town-hall where all the more or less written of art is stored. Most is garbage. 800 square metres full of uglyness, that really is bad Tom.
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User Reviews

Catch
14 October 2008 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

This is a wonderful drama, originally a play but successfully transformed to cinema. By that I mean that the superb writing is supplemented by images which carry the load.

It is the story of four men who in college had a band called Cloaca. We encounter them 20 years later, each with problems we identify. This all rings true, so true and so closely written that I would probably like it even it were a filmed play.

That's because of the way it is constructed. Each of the men and all of the possible pairings by turns take the role of being outside the play, on the side of the viewer, commenting on the others. This fold is made explicit by two devices. One involves paintings from an artist whose passion is remarked upon and who clearly reflects on the pictures we see. This is one case where the structure is more apt for film than stage.

The other device is more visual (as we never see the paintings). One of the men is a playwright/director who is putting on a play that manipulates this notion of the chorus in the action. He is having sex with a girl in the play who has a central role in that play, and who also happens to be the daughter of one of the other men. Her role in the play is one of the most striking scenes in film: she is covered in some sort of mud and is hosed down to become nude. Its really quite beautiful, interspersed with shots of her disapproving father in the audience being struck by that beauty. Now this fold would have worked better in the stage production I suppose.

There's no question but that this is a guy movie, and proudly not silly. There is no compromise in the dramatic arc to land you in a happy ending. It seems true, and real, and a genuine voyage into what men actually deal with.

A subtle point: all of these men have noble moments but are all damaged in ways that allow them to damage. This is common. But this business about weaving the drama by having subgroups of two among the four take control, well I find that fascinating. Women simply do not do this in my experience, and never in film. Its a turbulent, shifting set of alliances based on direct relaxing of dominance to form partnerships, which then jointly dominate. The result is an essay on the nature of dominant control of the situation, heightened by the fact that we are there only to experience what they control.

A "cloaca" is a single orifice that serves sexual and all elimination needs.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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