Jan 8, 2008

Black Book

Black Book is Paul Verhoeven’s first Dutch film since The Fourth Man (1983). The film is also the most expensive and high grossing Dutch cinema history. I have always wondered would it would be like if Paul Verhoeven went back to Holland and started directing films in his homeland again. Black Book made for a great film to compare to his past Dutch films to, especially Soldier of Orange (1977). Unfortunately Black Book could not compare to the artistic integrity of Verhoeven’s earlier German occupation masterpiece.

Verhoeven jumped onto the Jewish sympathy bandwagon with Black Book. On top of that, the story was historical fiction. I think it would be more appropriate of Paulie boy to have made a film about Dutch famine of 1944 as it did kill 20,000 of his own kinsman. Of course, I doubt Verhoeven could get the funding necessary for a film about the suffering of the Dutch during World War II. Any film that starts off its opening in Israel is catering to the international crowd.

Black Book goes back to the days of Verhoeven’s often and casual nudity scenes. I didn’t need to see a beer belly krauts Wiener schnitzel. Carice van Houten’s boobs also seemed to somehow pop out of her dress. That somehow may have even been a theme of the film. It’s a shame that Verhoeven couldn’t match the natural nudity of his Dutch films Turkish Delight, Spetters, and of course Soldier of Orange. The Hollywood years have really wore off on Verhoeven. After Showgirls there was no coming back.

Mr. Verhoeven has been Americanized. His recent films have all the features that cater to the lowest common denominator: cheap nudity, sex, guns, killing, and poop. I do have to admit that the dumping of shit on a topless Carice van Houten was fairly humorous and somewhat odd. I don’t know what Verhoeven’s intentions were with this scene but I had a good laugh.

In conclusion, Black Book was a watchable disappointment. Verhoeven’s Dutch films and Robocop will always be my favorite from his lexicon. Black Book is better than the majority of the trash that comes out of Hollywood. Just don’t expect the magic Verhoeven produced when working with fellow kinsman Rutger Hauer.

-Ty E


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jervaise brooke hamster said...

I want to bugger Carice Van Houten (as she was in 1994 when she was 18, not as she is now obviously).