Review: Black Book (DVD)

Photobucket I’m no movie critic, neither am I qualified to give opinionated advice on the tricks of the trade on movie-making (even though I minored in documentary film-making back in university days). But if there’s one art house war flick you need to watch before 2008 starts stirring in its grave, do yourself a favour and go rent Black Book.

It was one of those cold winter nights not three months ago when I was channel surfing on my cable network. This might be a gross understatement but I’m assuming anyone who plays COH has a remote interest in all things war-related. Or more specifically, events in the last Great War. The Black Book had just started and I sat through it because of several premises (which I’ll use as my brief review as I am no Roger Ebert):

Firstly, the plot. A Jewish lady survives a botched escape attempt from Nazi-occupied Netherlands and starts working with Dutch resistance fighters. She infiltrates the Gestapo HQ and starts a relationship with a high-ranking German officer. What happens next? Now if this hasn’t gotten you excited and driving down to Blockbusters, I don’t know what will.

Secondly, most WW2-related movies we’re aware of are churned out by the mega-production factory that is Hollywood. That means a whole load of pro-USA movies. The Black Book barely makes any reference to the Americans, and the story is told from the Dutch point of view. If I dare add, half the movie’s focused within the confinements of the Gestapo HQ. Great eye candy.

Thirdly, the Black Book was Carice van Houten’s big break. An established actress in the European circles, it was this performance as Rachel Stein that caught director Bryan Singer’s attention as he casted Carice opposite Tom Cruise in this American summer’s blockbuster Valkyrie. Coincidentally, Valkyrie’s plot is set against the backdrop of WW2.

Oddly enough, I could not find a copy of Black Book at my local dvd store. A great movie like this needs to be part of my dvd collection.

Go check it out guys.


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