6.7/10
3,668
6 user 23 critic

The Surprise (2015)

De surprise (original title)
After both signing an agreement with a company that offers to end their lives when they least expect it, a dejected millionaire and a disheartened young woman fall in love and have to find a way to get out of their binding contracts.

Director:

Mike van Diem

Writers:

Mike van Diem (screenplay), Mike van Diem (screen story) | 2 more credits »
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2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jeroen van Koningsbrugge ... Jacob van Zuylen de With
Georgina Verbaan ... Anne de Koning
Jan Decleir ... Cornald Muller
Henry Goodman ... Mr. Jones
Ankur Bahl Ankur Bahl ... Asif
Naveed Choudhry ... Moshin
Oliver Gatz ... Halim
Ronny Jhutti ... Khuram
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Elisabeth Andersen Elisabeth Andersen ... Mother
Tamar Baruch Tamar Baruch ... Marissa de la Rue
Michiel Blankwaardt Michiel Blankwaardt ... Truckdriver
Pierre Bokma ... Security Van Zuylen Foundation
Judith Edixhoven ... Assistant De Wijs
Hubert Fermin Hubert Fermin ... De Wijs
Reinier Hattink Reinier Hattink ... Assistant De Wijs
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Storyline

An eccentric multimillionaire signs an agreement to have his life ended. While selecting his coffin he meets a young woman who has signed up for the same arrangement. Trouble ensues when the couple falls in love and wishes to get out of the contract. Written by N279 Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on story | See All (1) »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

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Details

Language:

Dutch | English | Hindi | French | German

Release Date:

2015 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Amor por sorpresa See more »

Filming Locations:

Beloeil, Belgium

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,224,452
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie is based on a Dutch short story by Belcampo that director Mike van Diem wanted to adapt for years after winning a Best Foreign Picture Academy Award for Character (1997). It was initially considered for production in the USA, with Scarlett Johansson showing interest in playing the female lead. However, van Diem wasn't convinced that Johansen could do comedy and couldn't come to an agreement with the intended producer, so he took the project back to his native country, the Netherlands. See more »

Connections

Version of De surprise (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Invite You
Written and Performed by Hadewych Minis
Published by Die Zwei Produzenten Publishing
Sounds Like Publishing
Licensed by Dox Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Idiosyncratic, dark, Wes-ish return to form by Van Diem
28 May 2015 | by krisroxSee all my reviews

"De Surprise" marks the long-awaited return of Mike van Diem (of 1997 "Karakter" acclaim). I had no idea what to expect, but wasn't disappointed: it's a clever, self-written, self-produced dark comedy, that surprises with its off-kilter locations, developments and characters.

Starting with a funeral and quickly progressing to boy-meets-girl, the setup is of the well-traveled romcom variety, but the story heads for loftier territories after this and keeps us engaged throughout. Van Koningsbrugge and Verbaan acquit themselves well in parts that require a more understated, highbrow approach than their usual brand of comedy, and - essential for this genre - I rooted for them all the way through.

What kind of bugs me, though: the main characters in "De Surprise" exhibit a Wes Anderson-ish formal approach to emotions, which, combined with a distinct Wes Anderson-ish quirky world view, setting and storyline, almost made me feel like I was watching a WA-movie, only one without Wes' exceptional talents for art direction and editing.

This is not to say "De Surprise" lacks originality: but the day after, it did impress me more as a tight exercise in style than a profound exercise in storytelling - quite unlike the superior "Karakter". It does re-establish Van Diem as an independent, original filmmaker, and here's hoping he'll stick to cinema the upcoming decade.


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