(Review originally written at 12 June 2005)

I was very skeptic when this movie came out. The movie is based on a true story of a man who takes a building and several employees hostage because he is convinced of it that there are hidden encoded messages in Philips widescreen televisions and he demands that Phillips admits this to the general public, in a TV press conference. Only problem is...he has taken the wrong building hostage. Sounds like more than enough material to make a comedy about, so needless to say that I was very skeptic and even a bit angry when I found out that they wanted to make a serious heavy drama about this man and what drove him to his actions. But the movie ended up being far better than I could have ever had expected it to be.

The movie perfectly shows the growing paranoia of the main character and how he slowly looses all sense of reality. The already unstable character (his wife has left him after more than 30 years and he has trouble at his work as a bus driver) becomes more understandable, he's a man who has got nothing more to loose and wants justice.

The two main actors are really what drives this movie. Jan Decleir is a truly fantastic actor. This guy has had several big Hollywood offers already (Kubrick wanted him in "Eyes Wide Shut" and he was offered a part in "The World is not Enough" and he has played in several Academy Award winning Dutch movies.). But Jeroen Krabbé really impressed me the most. I already knew what a great actor he was of course but I had never seen him playing a better role as he did in this movie.

It's too bad that the story is told in a typical 'Dutch way'. The story keeps jumping from present time to what happened prior to this man's desperate action. It feels kind of pointless that the story is told in this way and it became a bit irritating after a while.

Still the movie is not worth the low rating it receives here currently. (Only a 5.3? What's up with that?) and obviously so far all the other movie reviewers here agree with that. The movie is not just good, it's great, thanks to the good directing from big talent Pieter Kuijpers and the acting of the two main actors, Jan Decleir and Jeroen Krabbé. The script could had used some more work here and there though.


About Frank Veenstra

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