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Gijs Scholten van Aschat,
The inside story of the planning, execution, rousing aftermath and ultimate downfall of the kidnappers of beer tycoon Alfred "Freddy" Heineken, which resulted in the largest ransom ever paid for an individual.
The kidnapper named "Rem Hubrechts" was actually named Willem Holleeder. There actually was a fifth kidnapper, not shown in the movie, called Martin "Remmetje" Erkamps. They used his nickname and gave it to Hubrechts because they couldn't use the name Willem Holleeder because he is still around and threatened with a law suit if they used his name in the movie. See more »
In the first scene you see Holleeder taking off his leather jacket. In the next view he wears the jacket no more, then in the next view he's taking it off again. See more »
Being someone from the Netherlands, I've seen probably a lot more Dutch movies than the average non-Dutch person. I also know that the average quality of these movies isn't very high (not to bash the efforts, but many Dutch films are quite flat). There are of course some exceptions, but altogether it results in being skeptic about every Dutch movie before I see it. However, this should not prevent me from actually seeing them without any biased feelings beforehand. I went to see this film yesterday night with a friend of mine. A movie that stars Rutger Hauer, whom I see as the best Dutch actor, is very interesting. Even more so when he has picked up the role of Freddy Heineken, one of the most iconic figures in the (Dutch) beer industry on the planet. The abduction of Freddy Heineken was in 1983, 10 years before I was born, so I must add that I really missed the cultural impact it made.
The review itself. This movie does not feature a fully nonfictional version of the story, nor does it claim to do so. It is clearly stated that the facts and additional dramatic elements are mixed together, which results in this film.
I must say, one of the greatest elements of the film is the variety of tension and ease. Scenes that feature the abduction crew tend to be very hasty and feature a lot of action, while the older Mr. Heineken provides the audience with a much more calm impression. This split of perspective is very important for the film, because it also tries to emphasize on the lives of the members of the abduction crew: They are all poor lads caught in the crisis of the 80's and they disrespect any kind of authority. The main character in this perspective is the young Rem Humbrechts, who has yet to prove himself in the world of crime. Only of his life do we really get to see a lot: his father is an alcoholic, claiming to be so because he used to work for Heineken, and that he had to drink a lot. Rem wants to help his father, one of the main reasons to abduct Heineken for a lot of money (35 million Gulders). Abductors are mainly villains in black clothing, completely anonymous. That is little different here, but we also get to see the poor, struggling side of Rem, and how he was actually born a very kind lad.
The acting is very, very good. Rutger Hauer shows his experience and acting abilities once more as a very convincing Freddy Heineken, seeking revenge, seeking his captors to be put behind bars. But also he shows weakness, fear, as we can see in the many nightmares about the guy in black, similarly clothed as his captors, as this is all he knows of them. We see an old man's struggle to regain his normal life, yet having the fear that someone, somewhere, might be waiting to get him. The less well known Reinout Scholten van Aschat, who took up the role of Rem Humbrechts, shows quality in that he manages to grow with his character: In the beginning, he is but a greenhorn, he means naught. This changes later in the movie, as he planned the whole abduction and he gets credit for his work. He becomes a lot more remorseless and bitter, though eventually getting caught. This contrasts the other captors, who remain quite consistent in character, throughout the movie. They have rather flat personalities. Little do we know, or get to know of them. We do not need to though, it's not a problem.
Another strong element is that the movie is far from over even after the police have found Heineken. The story continues, justice must be dealt to the captors. Which turns out to be quite the challenge.
In short, this movie is a great exception of Dutch cinema. I really enjoyed watching this movie, it features some very grim and exciting action and Rutger Hauer shines like a bright star in a clear night sky. I can recommend this movie to everyone looking for a good action/thriller.
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