Breathtakingly Beautiful + Some Missed Opportunities...
Watching this 6 hour long epic 16 years after its initial release is sheer joy, and helps to crumble some ancient Dutch prejudices.
BIJ NADER INZIEN shows us that it IS possible to have an ensemble cast à la Robert Altman in such a tiny country as the Netherlands. Of course, one needs a maverick director; and Frans Weisz is just the ticket there !
The story uses a 1200 pages novel, but that is merely the foundation. The novel depicts the Past, whereas the epic continues into a Present, that brings together all the different threads of the plot in a tremendously exciting way ! It also eliminates the chance that the story can be regarded as a mere trip to 'Memory Lane'.
So instead of breaking down a work of Literature, it feeds upon it and goes beyond the covers of the book, leaving the viewer with a big appetite towards that book ! Pretty clever, and very appealing. What makes this 'schism' even more exciting in the film/series is, that two different & Grand Ole' Dutch cinematographers are at the helm of Past (Goert Giltay) & Present (Jules Van Den Steenhoven). The beauty and power of the work of these two are so great, that it sizzles and jumps of off the screen !
There are not enough words to give the cast justice. One wishes to see the protagonists much more often in shining roles like these, and after watching Rik Launspach in what must be his pivotal performance, makes it unbelievably sad that we cannot go back and watch him in his breakthrough role in OEROEG. This film has been on the market as a DVD for quite a while, but sloppy enough it is a 4:3 Pan & Scan-version of the film, which was filmed in glorious widescreen. Incredible that such atrocities still occur...
Talking about DVD's: BIJ NADER INZIEN has finally been released on DVD, but it is very hard to find. A visit to www.bij-nader-inzien.nl is the only link to be able to find this Grand Piece Of Dutch Culture, which should be seen as Glorious International Art House. And there is one of the missed opportunities: the DVD-release has no Subtitles whatsoever, so unfortunately it is for non-Dutch speaking viewers impossible to follow. Which is a bummer; I for one would love to tell the whole world about the sheer beauty of BIJ NADER INZIEN !!
Last but not least, there should go some very big compliments indeed towards Art- & Costume Department. What incredible eye for detail and perfection they have shown ! What an incredible amount of time and hard work this must have cost !
Their moment of glory is the bicycle ride of the two female leads through a Holland of the late '40-ies.
All in all there is not one weak link in BIJ NADER INZIEN, as if it is truly possible that a film team of cast & crew inspires each other to greater heights, under the incredible craftsmanship of maverick director Frans Weisz.
Thank you all for an experience that is both profound and uplifting !
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