Paul Verhoeven's film works on multiple levels. On one level, it is a really good WWII era thriller. On another, it is a political statement on the cyclical nature of violence. And on a third level, it is a giant middle finger to Oscarbatory war films, exposing them as petty, melodramatic vulgarity. I loved this film!
Complicated. and always risky to foreground human ambiguity this way, in situations we prefer to see - or at least are used to seeing - in black & white. (That last scene, eg). The fight for nuance is not unimportant, these days.... Cleverly done, verging on Von Trier manipulativeness/cynicism but staying always humanistic. Borrows every trick in Hollywood, & somehow subtly subverts each one. Leaves lots to muse on.
This was a good date movie. Nice to see Verhoeven in good form at this point in his career. It's got those darn Nazis, who have the habit of just being evil for no good reason. It has lots of twists and turns. It's very sexy. Most of Verhoeven's best films were done when he was starting out. This is a crowd pleaser.
And now I see that Verhoeven's emergence as a humanist of the Renoir variety began here. If Elle is his Rules, this must be Illusion, one of the most defined pieces of straight-up classical filmmaking this century. Classical in its depiction of reality through an idealistic (tho cynical) lens, a clockwork thriller with thoroughly attuned eye for character, pacing, composition. Nothing new, but a formal delight.
Jane [wartime cartoon] with balls? A bracingly visceral narrative propelled with a typically prowling Verhoevian eye: sweeping choreography, spiky detail and earthy delights. Moral relativism and opportunism is the raison d'etre here, thrillingly cutting through most cliches, although not a couple of finales too many. More satisfying than arch compatriots The Damned, Salon Kitty & Inglorious Basterds on most counts.
(Vu en DVD) Un film haletant - entre aventure, espionnage et film de guerre - avec une héroïne ultra-charismatique! On ne s'ennuie pas une seconde. Pour son retour aux Pays-Bas, Verhoeven délaisse (par la force des choses?) son approche frontale de la violence et de la sexualité; mais s'il montre moins, son scénario en devient presque davantage tortueux et sadique: l'héroïne en voit vraiment de toutes les couleurs!
Contrived and lacking a strong plot, it's a femme fatale Inglorious Basterds minus the wit and performances. Nothing particularly memorable here, besides perhaps Van Houten's striking beauty (how easily she fits into the era!). Try Valkyrie for a better modern WW2 thriller; the two films share many of the same actors, to boot.
Interesting story set during World War II. It's a love story, thriller, action film that explains how complicated the situation was back then (end of the war), how far from heroism war can be, and how unstable our human nature is. Good cast and solid performances. Unfortunately, some scenes don't work well, humour feels forced and out of place, certain characters rather stereotypical. Overall it's a good film.
A capable crime thriller set during Nazi occupation of Holland. It will never be the most profound piece of cinema but it is none the less well crafted and an enjoyable watch easily transporting you into the lives and torments of those who inhabit this piece of history.