Saturday, July 28, 2007

Black Book

Black Book was Friday night's entertainment. We were in the middle of the back row of The Embassy (row V) which has the best leg room of the 6 rows of "bad" seats and the view from there was great. I had a slight feeling of disquiet about the fact that should there be a fire we were bound to burn since it takes forever to get out from that far back, but since the film was good I didn't dwell on this for long.

Black Book is a WWII movie. You might feel that this subject has been done to death (so to speak) but Black Book is a refreshing look at the occupied Netherlands. It's characters include Jews in hiding, the Dutch Resistance, the occupying soldiers and Dutch residents. The principal character is a Jewess (Rachel) who comes out of hiding and works for the resistance. One of her assignments is to seduce the head of the local Gestapo - which she manages to do, but she falls in love with him as well, which makes things complicated. I won't give the rest of the plot away but one of the great things about this film is that the good guys and the bad guys aren't clearly defined. There's double crossing and deceit galore and lots and lots of hidden agendas. Everyone is out for his or herself, obviously, but is also in support of others that you wouldn't necessarily expect. It's a war story and a thriller and a love story and it delivers on all those levels. It will keep you engrossed for all 147 minutes which is a big achievement.

Anne's rating 4/5

I agree with Anne's description. It is a visually gratifying film, the scenes are either filmed in orange tones or grey tones which seems appropriate. Its escapist entertainment rather than realism; with a glamourous portrayal of a grim time (1944/5 Netherlands) where smartly dressed Nazi officers have a posh HQ, a girl on the run is able to come up with several sexy party frocks and the Dutch public looking remarkably well fed considering the famine they were suffering! Perhaps that is why Rachel looks back on her exploits from the distance of 1956 Israel somewhat wistfully.

Ian's rating 5/5

No comments:

Post a Comment