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Chaotic and uneven, but all in all charming Tellegen adaptation
It doesn't happy often, but I regretted this film's short running time. It only got good towards the ending! I guess they had to stick to children's movie length... Once again (as always in dutch movies) the voice-over is omnipresent. OK, it's kinda logical since the main character is a 10 year old boy who's trying to understand the world 'in words' (since he wants to become a writer) But still... Throughout the movie dialogues are only fragments in his self-created world of thinking. This hinders the movie to get some human to human interaction going, like with old depressed grandpa and the boy. The voice-over didn't bother me in the more fantasy-like segments where our main character (who lives in an surreal, beautiful and empty The Hague) gets to meet the Queen. This movie almost converted me from a republican to a monarchist. Not because of Georgina Verbaan (who plays the busty queen in a bathing suit). No, it's the addictiveness of the child's fantasy, to believe in fairy tales again, thus to believe in stuff like kings and queens. Ah! (By the way, did I mention the queen lives in a very oriental, if not Islamic kind of palace, take that Wilders!) Anyway, the queen orders for the boy to write her a novel. After many failed attempts the boy desperately sighs: 'Couldn't I just turn it into a play!' These kind of absurd jokes save the movie. There's some metaphors going on as well. The boy is trying to think of a 'first sentence' (for the book). This will get slightly complicated (and kinda wacky) but in dutch 'first sentence' is the same word for 'first desire/liking', so it might not be that weird that the boy figures out he will have to fall in love to get this book going! Just one example of the child logic meets modernism that are exactly the kinds of thing Toon Tellegen - a famous dutch writer - is known for, and guess what, this work is based on one of his books. And, of course, he makes a great cameo appearance.
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