Shock for shock’s sake, and misogynistic representations in name of dubious proto feministic intentions. Verhoeven proves, as he always does, that he is one of the most immaturely provocative filmmakers in recent European cinema history. The cinematography and some story elements save it, but it’s still quite mediocre and even tedious when compared with some of its directors most interesting experiments.
Monique van de Ven and her character will be the factor of greatest interest in a film that never finds a personal look at a survival story in an adverse time and society: we can't find a frame with an idea of how to embody its representation. However, and that is undeniable, the clumsiness of this phase of the Dutch filmmaker is, if we want, his greatest achievement, in addition to a fun eschatology.
A dark Dickensian tale from director Paul Verhoeven, told with his trademark bold but deftly-crafted style. Monique van de Ven shines in the title role, her luminous presence a strong contrast to the atmospheric corruption of turn of the century Amsterdam. Another strong piece of work from Verhoeven's Dutch period.