Let me start by telling you something about The Netherlands. We are a small country, not particularly nationalistic (although more so than some would have you believe), not particularly proud, except for one aspect: we are obsessed by what is thought of us in foreign countries, especially the USA. We are desperately fond of Famke Janssen, Paul Verhoeven and Jan de Bont, not because they are particularly good, but because they have 'put us on the map'.
So, you are a small country speaking a local language and you want to make it big in the rest of the world, what do you do? Make movies in English, of course. Get Dutch actors to speak in a language they weren't born to speak and weren't born to act in. The result is excruciating.
A few of the main actors are British, and one of them (the brother) can actually act. Then there is one actress (the girlfriend) who has been dubbed with a British accent. I have no idea if her original accent was Dutch, but you can tell she's dubbed, it's embarrassing.
But enough of the language. You get my point. The film itself (I force myself now to temporarily ignore the language thing) is reasonable. Ish. I actually read the book and thought it okay, but it needed the extra thoughts and background of the characters to make it interesting, and the film obviously lacks these. In short, it is about Max, a 'Jew in a Porsche' who needs to get to terms with his Jewish background, his love-life, his fathers company where he works, but most of all his father himself, a stern man he hardly knows. The film doesn't make me commiserate with him at all. People die, disappear, have accidents, and I, the viewer, just don't care.
If you want to see more Dutch films in English: 'adrenaline' (action)and 'moonlight' (ghastly fairy-tale drama) spring to mind. But I wouldn't, if I were you. I'm told the making of these kinds of films has something to do with a European grant for international films, I hope they economise on that one, soon.
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