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Psychological thriller. For a manipulative childhood friend, a geographer smuggles a suitcase of heroin to an Asian city. The woman he hands the smuggled goods to says, just like him, not to have any experience in the drugs trade. How did these people come to this?Written by
It's the frailty of the human mind for no man is perfect!
This film, directed by Netherlands' Martin Koolhaven, is worth paying to see for the price of 8 bucks. It's a dramatic and character-driven tale, adapted from Tim Krabbe's novel. It's told by merging past and present events. The dialogue is cold and precise appropriate to the characters. In this coming-of-age story, there's a strong corruption theme that leads to a couple of temporal crises -- drug running and mid-life! The adult and young actors are well matched for their character roles.
The thrilling flow of back and forth flash-takes offers different time frames, involving the lives of several characters. Fedja Van Huet as the adult Egon, and Erik Van der Horst as the young Egon, will leave viewers with very powerful food for thoughts about peer influences. Yep, a provokingly scary thought that a young man's destiny is determined by the strong forces of relationships thematically similar to some of Thomas Hardy's works. Marcel Hensema as the adult Axel, and Benja Bruijning as the young Axel, energize the film with their charismatic, domineering, and psychological ploys. "People are lazy; they'd rather obey than have to think up something to want. They're grateful when you think of something for them." Axel's law? Perhaps! Axel truly belongs to the cheaters and seducers of society! With regard to their traits, manners, and ambitions, Egon and Axel couldn't have been better examples of two men sitting at the opposite ends of a pole.
The theme of opposites does come into play repeatedly. Attention should be given to Kim Huffman's Marcy and Kelly Touwslager's Marjoke to fully understand how the two relate at the end. Character development and motivation are well focussed throughout this film.
The concentration is on the 30-year Egon-Axel relationship to justify how persuasion could bring the downfall of a seemingly promising and sensible young man. For Egon to shake off Axel is like shaking off his own shadow. Done in a psychologically complex weaving of character presentations, this film does provide imaginative and suspenseful tension. It allows the characters to come together as young teens, settle them in separate frontiers, before re-uniting them for the final destinies.
Truly a satisfying psycho-thriller about friendship, desires, destiny and treason (amazingly, these themes came through with another film, "The Crime of Father Amaro", too!) It's fascinating to watch the characters trying to weigh their own identities. The film has some visually graphic sex scenes. Dialogue fluctuates between Dutch and English.
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