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(Review originally written at 27 October 2010)

This is not a bad movie at all but it at the same time is also far from the must see movie that some people make you believe it is. It's definitely not a movie that is without its flaws and its weaker points.

Once you have seen those extreme and traumatizing moments of child birth in this movie, you'll think twice about getting pregnant, as a woman. It's not only psychically hard but also mentally, which causes the main character to see the baby as 'something' that only gave her lots of pain and she just can't bond with him because of this. 'It' becomes even a bigger nuisance to her back home, when it changes her social life and the relationship she has with her husband. It's perhaps a bit of a hard story to believe, that a woman could get suddenly so depressed and also quite insane after giving birth to a child, where it not that you know that this story is actually being based on the true real life experience of the female author of this book, that the movie got based on.

It's also being a well told story, that helps to make the story a believable one but at the same time it's also one that really didn't got me emotionally involved with any of the characters or events happening in this movie. Perhaps this is just the type of movie females will get more involved with and are better able to relate with the characters and their emotions. It's very much a movie that is being told from the female perspective, with obviously a female as the main lead but also with a female director and only female writers involved.

I am still not sure what to think of the overall narrative of the movie. I sort of feel that it gets into its 'action' and to its point too fast, which causes its beginning to feel a bit rushed and in the end to movie is trying to handle and resolve too many issues. I'm sure this is all being handled better in the novel, by Heleen van Royen, that of course has more time to set up its characters and certain situations and reach conclusions much better and more effective, than an 100 minutes movie ever can. This approach causes some of the movie its story elements to just not work out as effective as they potentially could have had.

For instance, in the middle of the movie our main character is forced to go to an insane asylum, to put it boldly, and once she is in there but also after she gets out, all of her relatives and those around her that love her are not really supporting her at all. Instead they are still being very suspicious of her and it actually seems as if she is the only 'normal' person and everyone else is actually being the crazy one. Not sure if this was intentional or not but either way, it doesn't feel very natural. It perhaps even feels a tad bit forced, since it seems to put in to get behind the main character and sympathize for her completely, in the movie its second half and to make us 'forget' all of those horrible and weird things she did in the movie its first half.

But all complaining aside, this was still a movie that got well done and remains a perfectly watchable one, within its genre. It's also a classy made movie, that is a good looking one and actually really had a budget to spend, which is a real positive thing for a Dutch movie.

It's a movie that is relying and building on its actors and their performances. It must had given the movie a real boost that it managed to get Carice van Houten for the lead role, also not in the least because this would be reason for the movie to receive more attention and publicity then an average other Dutch genre movie would get. But of course they must have been also more than pleased to get her simply because she is such a fine actress, who has proved lots of time that she can completely carry a movie on her own. But this can also be a bit of a danger at times, since it can put the other actors of the movie completely in her shadow. But luckily this isn't the case with this movie at all and it has one fine, solid, supporting cast as well and also Waldemar Torenstra in good form as the husband.

A good and totally watchable movie, despite some of my criticism about it.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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