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Review Daglicht (2013): Decent and ambitious Dutch thriller but a little predictable for the genre lover!

genre: thriller, mystery, Dutch




Daglicht is a Dutch thriller which for The Netherlands is a genre that rarely is made. It is even rarer to have a title that is made well. Diederik van Rooijen already proved to me in Taped he could handle the genre so I was looking forward of the this mystery we would be introduced to. 

The viewer doesn't have to wait long for the mystery to appear and it is one that is compelling that maintains interest from the get go. It is layered enough to have all sorts of outcomes and that for a short while makes you really invested to watch. But I already figured out early on one important part of the riddle. Which (for me) made everything else less surprising and incredibly predictable. In one of the many reveals a character is introduced who is called Ray. This character is autistic in the same fashion as Raymond played by Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. In fact the way he moves and behaves is almost an exact copy of that character. For me personally this was a weak moment of film making. Fedja van Huêt is excellent, let there be no mistake about that. It his good acting and professionalism that the role prevents it from becoming a parody. Still it was hard to shake off the connection. This character said something that made me suspect on how the rest of story would unfold since a lot of focus was on this specific part of the mystery.  In another reveal we get to see this supposedly clever scene where the son of  Iris (Angela Schijf) shows his puzzle solving skills. And yes I would have agreed and been impressed also if not for the fact that I had seen it before in other thrillers were other autistic savants played important roles. What I am saying is that if you like me love the genre and have seen many movies from that genre a lot in the film will get predictable. Mind you, I know that enough people who don't watch as much will be able to be surprised and enjoy the viewing experience that is promised. I only had hoped that the director would offer one twist more for thriller fans like me to also make it more  interesting for us but sadly he did not. In stead we get a nice, touching and overall warm ending which for me worked well also and was good enough.

If I have to compare I think Taped is the superior thriller because that one maintains the suspense and tension throughout where as Daglicht relies more on the strength of  mystery that in the end is not that strong. Still I think it is not a waste of time because the competent acting especially by Fedja van Huêt does give it that edge. The bigger names Derek de Lint and Monique van de Ven however are very much under used and don't really add that much which is a shame but not bothersome. As a big fan of the thriller genre I can only applaud the ambition to make films like these and it looks like it is headed into the right direction.


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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with your review. Its a competent Dutch thriller with some clever twists. The only thing that bothered me was the 'bad guy' who physically threatens and later even attempts to kill the main character. That does not make much sense given the plot, and was clearly added just to increase suspense.

Michael Chrichton said...

Thank you for your comment and yes I agree that was one of the things just to artificially add suspense and not necessary at all.

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