On the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro is Jardim Gramacho, the world's largest landfill, where men and women sift through garbage for a living. Artist Vik Muniz produces portraits of the workers and learns about their lives.
Wasteland is set in a world ravaged by a deadly virus and within that world is Scott Miller, a man who, against the odds, is trying to carve out some sort of life. The deadly infection that... See full summary »
Shy loser Diego wakes up after an accident and has been transformed into Tony T. a smooth-talking no-holds-barred stuntman. Suffering from a case of Frontal Syndrome he's the perfect ... See full summary »
Pieter Van Hees
Kristine Van Pellicom
The nerve-racking events of a cold winter's day, seen from two different perspectives. The odd episodes tell the story of a team of police negotiators and special forces who respond to a ... See full summary »
Liesa Van der Aa,
When a group of religious zealots destroy everything that he loves and leaves him for dead; A man embarks on a journey of revenge that will take him through all the post-apocalyptic dangers... See full summary »
Ten years after the end of apartheid, a South African community tries to live without recalling the violent clashes of the past. But when the silence is suddenly broken, some of the most innocent citizens may be in peril.
Brussels. Homicide detective Leo Woeste lives together with his girlfriend Kathleen and her five year old son Jack. Day after day Leo is confronted with the grim underbelly of the city. He tries to protect himself by balancing his job with his family life. When Kathleen gets pregnant unexpectedly, Leo starts loosing control. He accepts one last case, the murder of a young Congolese he can't seem to solve. There's his new hedonistic colleague Johnny Rimbaud and the affair with Aysha, the attractive victim's sister. Everything seems to pull him away from Kathleen and from his role as a father, deeper and deeper into the waste land.Written by
'Waste Land' is presented as a crime thriller. But in this film, solving the crime is secondary to the psychological development of the lead character, Belgian police detective Leo. He has a stormy relationship with his girlfriend. When she tells him she is pregnant, his world is turned upside down because deep down he is afraid to become a father.
While he tries to solve the killing of a boy who was involved in smuggling valuable statues from Congo, his private life seems to go completely off the rails. He insults his girlfriend, starts an affair with the sexy sister of the murdered boy, cuts himself repeatedly with a knife, moves away from his comfortable house to go live in a hotel, starts believing in black magic and visits drug parties. 'You need help', advises a close colleague when they meet in a bar.
The film is strong on atmosphere, showing Brussels as an urban jungle where everyone struggles for survival. The photography is beautiful, especially the way the Congolese subculture in Brussels is shown. But the story didn't convince me. How can someone with clear psychological problems be responsible for a murder investigation? And where exactly do Leo's problems come from? Why doesn't he seek help, as is suggested? All the same, the director does a nice job mixing Leo's downfall with the search for the killer, while at the same time showing how Belgium tries to cope with its colonial past. Sometimes, the film made me think about Werner Herzog's 'Bad Lieutenant - Port of Call New Orleans', in which Nicolas Cage plays a similar role.
The film is spoken in two languages, Dutch and French. In a way, this is very authentic because Brussels is a bilingual city. But the constant mixing of the two languages, even in a conversation between two people, is confusing and not very realistic. Usually, a conversation is held in either French or Dutch, not the two together. Moreover, lead actor Jeremy Renier doesn't speak Dutch very well, so that doesn't help.
Overall, the film has quite a few strong points. It's just that I couldn't really identify with Leo's lead part, and his problems were hammered home a bit too strongly.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this