Friday, 23 May 2014

Het Diner (The Diner).

This very dark drama directed and written by Menno Meyjes, a respected screenwriter who was responsible for the award winning script for The Colour Purple (1985) and also worked with Steven Spielberg on the film Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade (1989), was adapted from the Dutch best seller Het Diner by Herman Koch. The novel had sold in excess of 500,000 copies and won the Dutch audience award NS Publieksprijs before it was decided to make it into a movie.   

The Brothers.

Serge (Daan Schuurman) invites his brother (Jacob Derwig) for a meal in an upmarket restaurant where apparently he is very well known. Joining them is Serge’s wife Babette (Derwig’s wife Kim van Kooten) and Paul’s wife Claire (Thekla Reuten who had a leading part in The American 2010 with George Clooney).  They talk about all sorts of things including work, the latest movies, the war in Iraq and this year’s holiday plans. They avoid however what Serge has invited them to talk about in the first place: the actions of their two sons Michel and Rick. We gradually learn what they have done and how it could potentially destroy not only their freedom but also Serge’s candidature for a very high position in Dutch politics. We observe these four highly intelligent people gradually pulling each other to pieces. 

The wife's and mothers.

The question asked in this cleverly written big screen drama Het Diner (2013) is one which most parents get to ask them selves at sometime in their parenthood, but hopefully not having to deal with quite an horrendous deed - what would you do, and how far would you go to save your offspring? Made on location in Amsterdam which offers up some beautiful night time photography. My only problem with this film is that it does not ring true, by this I mean would you go to a crowded restaurant where your very well known and discuss a private matter whose repercussions could be immeasurable?  The answers probably no, but if you can get over this plot detail I think you will enjoy a powerfully entertaining 88 minutes from a very professional cast of actors. 

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