Het Vonnis – ***

Posted: October 13, 2013 in 2013, Courtroom, Drama, Flanders, XXX

I survived watching the first Flemish courtroom drama! Better even, I liked it! A lot.

I liked it because of the way the story allows the viewer to think along. A guy loses his wife and child in a tragical event. When the murderer of his wife gets released from prison because of a breach of legal procedure, he decides to tackle the justice system with a dramatic act of revenge. It’s very easy to support the feeling of revenge, but it’s also very difficult to justify the right to take revenge. This movies manages to leave it up to the audience what they think is right or wrong.

I liked it because of the small details. Especially the use of real journalists and real news anchors and tv presenters. It felt very familiar and even added humor to the drama.

I liked it because of the pace, the editing and the camera work. This movie needs long shots and that can be challenging, but it works well here. Jan Verheyen won a Best Directing award in Montreal for this movie, which is well deserved. But it’s the team he worked with this time that made the real difference.

But I liked it most of all because of the acting. It’s great to see Johan Leysen in a positive role for a change. He’s such an underrated talent. He’s one of the few people who can make standard Dutch sound beautiful and impeccable. So he’s the perfect man to listen to during the pretty long closing plea. Koen De Bouw is great too. He has a very subdued way of dealing with his emotions naturally. In general, all of the characters were performed well. Which is rare.

Yep. Go watch it if you can. If it’s available wherever you live. I saw it in Brussels with French subtitles, that translate ‘Vlaming’ into ‘Belge’. Ridiculous of course. Just like some parts in our Justice System. But at least there are subtitles.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2691722

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