(Review originally written at 21 December 2005)

"Girl with a Pearl Earring" is a good looking movie but it's not a movie that leaves an huge impression afterward.

Main problem with the movie is mainly the story in which rarely ever something actually happens. The movie is nothing more than a slow told story about the painter Vermeer and the house maid Griet. Their 'relationship' is portrayed well in the movie and is build up nicely but the movie lacks real depth and substance. It doesn't particularly make "Girl with a Pearl Earring" an interesting movie to follow from start till finish. Even though the movie is only about 100 minutes short, it actually feels longer because the story is told slowly and subtle. Some fine looking sequences are the end result that are all beautiful to look at but still feel lacking when it comes down to the story and the emotions of the movie.

The sets and cinematography are without doubt what makes this movie still work. It gives a beautiful and fairly detailed look into the 17th century life in Delft. Although it's still odd to see that Delft looks a surprising lot like Venice in this movie. No wonder, when I read the trivia section here, I found out that the sets for Delft used in this movie, were reused Venice sets from another movie.

The acting is fair enough. Tom Wilkinson plays a deliciously 'villainish' role, a sort of role in which he always shines. I wasn't really too happy with Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson. All both of them did during this movie, was looking intense and both looked like they were about to burst out in tears, in all of their sequences. I know this was intentional and needed to tell the story with but to me it became a bit irritating after a while. They hardly ever say more than 1 sentence. It does provide some good sequences and moments and in the scene's with the both of them together it works out just fine but for the whole movie it's simply too much of the same and because of that it also looses its power and interestingness after a while. Yes, this movie is a typical case of style over substance but in this case the style is interesting enough to make this a good and certainly well watchable movie.

A good looking and good told story but it lacks real depth and drama, to make the movie really interesting to follow.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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