Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Mimi Ferrer, Laurence Fishburne, Touriya Haoud, Isa Hoes, Antonie Kamerling
Director: Laurence Malkin
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
MARTIJN (Ryan Phillippe), an idealistic Dutch pianist, travels to Morocco to help start a food program for malnourished children. Within moments of his arrival, however, Martijn is abducted by a group of terrorists, inject... more »
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S. Fleming | 09/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is both scary and touching. Very sad... very eye-opening. The acting is superb! Hats off to all actors involved with this film!"
Much better than I expected
PJR | Minneapolis, Minnesota United States | 10/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The negative reviews made me skeptical. But the film turned out to have excellent acting and dialogue. It is all about mind games during a torture interrogation of a young Dutch lefty. Are the interrogators CIA trying to trick the guy into giving up his collaborators? They eventually drop the mystery stance and claim to be on the rebel side that he eventually claims to be on or admits to be on as the case might be. But they want him to convince them that he is really one of them by telling everything he knows. He either does not want to do that because he does not completely trust them, or he cannot as the case might be because maybe he really is lying and working for the CIA and cannot.
There are only two probable outcomes. Either they are really CIA and he should not trust his kidnappers, or he is really CIA and does not know all the people in the cell in the Netherlands. So if all the viewers guess randomly, like flip a coin, half will be right! FYI, I guessed right.
But the outcome is not so important actually to appreciation of the film as film. What is important is that the acting is very good and gripping and as details come out during the mind games and torture you want to go back and think how previous details might fit or not, and you are inspired to reinterpret some. It is a good thinking person's film. Like some of my most admired spy films.I want to watch it again even though I know the outcome. It would be like studying the moves in classic chess games, which I used to do when younger.
In terms of political relevance, yeah this is probably timely in a way. There is some nasty stuff going on out there in the world on the dark side of empire building and anger at it, including torture. And the passion and commitment on the various sides can be argued. But this is not really anything new. The political statement is not the reason that this is a fine film. But the political implications are at least provocative and may be instructive for some viewers.
The making-of feature on the DVD is not great, but it is better than the average making-of which tends to be insulting to one's intelligence and a waste of time unless you happen to be star-struck.
Five fingers refers to the fact that his passion is playing the piano and they cut off his fingers brutally one by one to turn up the heat on him as the interrogation proceeds. But this is not gratuitous gore. It is so cruel on their part and such a sacrifice on his part that even his captors (whoever they are) come to admire his courage and passion, whether he is CIA and passionately loyal to America, or a real left-wing activist who is completely determined to bring down the ruling global order. The point is well made that there is enormous passion and motivation on both sides out there on the battle lines. I think well crafted spy films often make this sort of point, but not in such a viscerally convincing and memorable way. It is such an obvious point that it is easy to say at the level of words. But making this point in convincingly human terms is very well done in this film. Exceptionally well done in my opinion."
Arnita D. Brown | USA | 03/12/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While traveling to Morocco to initiate a food program of his own to help poor kids, the Dutch Martijn is kidnapped by a group of terrorists and his guide Gavin is executed in cold blood in front of him. Along the days, Martijn is tortured by a Muslin man and Aicha and looses four fingers. In the end, the truth about his travel is finally disclosed. Fishburne and Phillipe as the two main characters locked in a battle of mind and will power turn in an excellent performance, as do the supporting characters. The story starts swiftly and almost from the beginning the tension is notched up, and with each twist and turn the movie continues to question who really is the good guy in all of this, if indeed there could be one. A real psychological treat if you just enjoy it."