Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Very decent, for a Dutch flick
As a Dutch person, it is somewhat strange to write a review for a Dutch film. Dutch cinema has a poor reputation, especially from within the Netherlands. Ask the average Dutch person about a film from his fatherland and he will respond: "I don't watch Dutch movies". Outside of the Netherlands reception of our flicks seems somewhat more positive, but no one will argue we're competing at the top. This has two main reasons. Primarily the poor acting. We do not have a professional acting school and most actors come from theater, which simply is entirely different from movie acting. Secondly, there is hardly any budget. Ventoux is a recent addition to our repertoire.
Ventoux tells the story of a group of friends who reunite 30 years after a tragic accident that tore the group apart. In their late 40's, they decide to cycle up the notorious Ventoux mountain, just like they did at the end of high school. The film shows the relationship between the friends now and then, specifically focusing on the influence of the sole female in the company, the beautiful Laura and the question surrounding her disappearance.
This is a very interesting premise. The film specifically focuses on male friendship, and does so quite convincingly. All male leads give an excellent performance and show us sincere friendship through difficult times. Similarly convincing is the role of young Laura, who enters a group of friends and is bewildered by the way the friendship works and the realization that her presence is of enormous influence on the boys. It is a shame that young André hardly has a personality; as it later turns out, old André is the glue that holds the friends together.
The sincere friendship and interesting story keep your attention and I was anxious for the grand finale: the story of Laura. Shamefully this is the biggest turndown of the film. Old Laura gives a very poor performance, solely bringing down what is left of the friendship. She merely gives a shallow explanation and she is simply not a convincing adult version of her younger self. The finale is unsatisfying and the viewer is left with a desire to know more about Laura's view on the friendship.
What is left is still a very decent film. At times excellent, at times mediocre. It is good to know that the quality of Dutch acting is rising. A solid and entertaining release in slowly professionalizing Dutch cinema.