All the members of the De Roover family have ended up at a point of no return in their lives where crucial choices have to be made. Winnie wants a child. Her husband Rutmer wants to get in ... See full summary »
Carice van Houten,
Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to compete.
Jan Smit is miscast as Vincent a poor, semi-orphaned bellboy/baker/boxer who falls in love with German girl Eva (Roos van Erkel), who's about to embark on a marriage of convenience with a powerful businessman to save her mentally handicapped brother Herman (beautifully played by Jelle Pelmaerts) from almost certain death at the hands of the Nazis. Although it is suggested that Vincent is illiterate (he only 'reads' a boxing magazine for its pictures) he somehow speaks fluent German which is pointed out, and then ignored. Moreover, Jan Smit looks far too squeaky clean to convince as a young man struggling to make ends meet in Rotterdam, just days before it is bombed to smithereens by the Germans. Nevertheless, Jan Smit does a very creditable job and handles the lighter scenes quite well, coasting on his seemingly natural charm which has made him the Dutch pop icon he is. There is also palpable chemistry between him and Van Erkel, who is also somewhat miscast as she is too plain-looking. Why would a shrewd, materialistic businessman - who is in a position to pick his women - settle for her? The voice-overs by venerable story-teller Aart Staartjes are disappointingly bland, and repetitive. The love story between the two leads, however, works surprisingly well, and is helped immensely by the stunning cinematography by Gabor Szabo, who creates some unforgettable moments. The bombardment of the title is well-designed and beautifully shot, and underlines the ambition of this film to be the Dutch answer to Titanic, which it has tried to emulate a bit too obviously. Not a great film, but quite entertaining and definitely worth watching.
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