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The year 1642 marks the turning point in the life of the famous Dutch painter, Rembrandt, turning him from a wealthy respected celebrity into a discredited pauper. At the insistence of his pregnant wife Saskia, Rembrandt has reluctantly agreed to paint the Amsterdam Musketeer Militia in a group portrait that will later become to be known as The Nightwatch. He soon discovers that there is a conspiracy afoot with the Amsterdam merchants playing at soldiers maneuvering for financial advantage and personal power in, that time, the richest city in the Western World. Rembrandt stumbles on a foul murder. Confident in the birth of a longed-for son and heir, Rembrandt is determined to expose the conspiring murderers and builds his accusation meticulously in the form of the commissioned painting, uncovering the seamy and hypocritical side to Dutch Society in the Golden Age. Rembrandt's great good fortune turns. Saskia dies. Rembrandt reveals the accusation of murder in the painting and the ... Written by
My wife and I are film buffs, not professional movie reviewers. But both of us had strong reactions to Nightwatching.
My wife's reaction: Nightwatching put her to sleep. My reaction was, I think, I bit more nuanced.
In my opinion the world needs more movies about the 17th century. And it wouldn't hurt to have more movies that are intellectual rather than sensational. Therefore, I was delighted to find Nightwatching on the shelf at Premiere Video in my M-Street neighborhood in Dallas, Texas.
Nightwatching is a visual delight. The sets, the costumes, the way the scenes are lighted in the manner of Rembrandt's own paintings, all these elements of this movie were delightful to me. And Martin Freeman's acting made Rembrandt's prickly, flawed character leap right off the screen into my heart.
Although this is not a film that could ever be a commercial success, I thank Peter Greenaway and his collaborators from the bottom of my heart for making it. I will view it again the next time my eyes want to be happy.
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