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The Memory of a Killer
The Memory of a Killer
Actors: Koen De Bouw, Werner De Smedt, Jan Decleir, Laurien van den Broeck, Dirk Roofthooft
Director: Erik Van Looy
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2006     2hr 3min

His memory impaired by Alzheimer's, veteran assassin Angelo Ledda (Jan Decleir) is appalled to discover his intended target is a 12-year-old girl. Refusing to kill her, Ledda breaks his contract, only to have his boss carr...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Koen De Bouw, Werner De Smedt, Jan Decleir, Laurien van den Broeck, Dirk Roofthooft
Director: Erik Van Looy
Creators: Erik Van Looy, Erwin Provoost, Hilde De Laere, Mark De Geest, Sjef Scholte, Carl Joos, Jef Geeraerts
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 02/21/2006
Original Release Date: 09/26/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 09/26/2005
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 2hr 3min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: Dutch, French
Subtitles: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 7/10/2010...
An absolutely brilliant edge-of-your-seat thriller. This brilliant Belgian film really is very clever and original.

Plotwise, Angelo Ledda ( Jan Decleir, who was so marvelous in 'Character') is a hit man who is sent to Antwerp, his home town in Belgium, to assassinate a public official after retrieving a metal box from him. Following that assignment, Ledda's boss, Seynaeve (Gene Bervoets) orders him to murder of a child prostitute, Bieke Cuypers (Laurien Van den Broeck). Ledda balks after he discovers Cuypers' age. That night, on the news, he hears she's been shot anyway. Meanwhile the police are getting involved as Eric Vincke (Koen de Bouw), a Detective Chief Inspector with an expertise in child abuse investigations, is assigned to the Cuypers homicide, When Ledda and Vincke meet, a crafty game of subterfuge begins as Ledda attempts to kill off the members off the members of a wealthy secret group of criminals involved in child prostitution and pornography. Can he get to them before Vincke? Vincke wants to stop him, but we startr to feel more and more for Ledda as it turns out he was a sexually abused child. Additionally, as a brilliant complication, is the awful fact that Ledda is suffering from a steadily worsening case of Alzheimer's-related dementia.

I don't want to give away too much more. The film's brilliant screenwriter Carl Joos manages to slip in the biggest plot twist so that you may not even notice. Actor Jan Decleir really is the Man! Great plot. Great acting. Totally plausibility. A first-rate thriller

Movie Reviews

Fascinating convergence of thriller and psychological drama
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 01/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Set in Belgium, this unusual thriller has as its protagonist an anti-hero--a 57-year old hitman who's beginning to experience symptoms of Alzheimer's. His brother, older and residing in a nursing home, has an advanced form of the same disease. But the hitman, Angelo Ledda, has enough of his wits about him to know what's going on; he does have some slips in memory from time to time, though, and these throw him off, to some extent at least, in the context of remembering what he's just done or where he just was--or who he might have just executed.

The acting is superior; this in combination with a smart storyline with sharp dialogue makes for an engrossing two hours. As is true of many modern noir tales, this one involves corruption in high places, as a result of which murders ensue--some committed by Ledda, some not.

The pacing here is pretty much flawless. The back and forth between the cops, the hitman, and the evil higher-up guys is spot on. This is a great companion piece to the recent French policier "36 Quai des Orfevres" directed by Olivier Marechal which, unfortunately, is not available on DVD here in the US, but is available in a non-region 1 European DVD release.

Highly recommended."
Swan Dive
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 04/13/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Angelo Ledda (as in Yeats and mythology's swan Leda, he notes) as portrayed by Jan Decleir is a man on the edge. He has spent most of his life as a murderer, most of it paid, some not. But now, as the movie begins, he is in the throes of something way beyond him: Alzheimer's. And for a man who has seemingly always had the details of his life in line during his long, conflicted life...this is not a good thing. Nor is it something that he understands...nor something that he can control. Ledda knows that he is near death and that makes him dangerous and gives him the kind of freedom that only those who are near death possess.
Director Erik Van Looy's "The Memory of a Killer" is basically a policier: a film with layer upon layer of storyline that ultimately come together by way of Angelo, D.C.I. Vincke (a wounded, sad-sack performance by Koen de Bouw) who form a sort of bond based on their shared backgrounds of deserted parents, un-successful love affairs and amazing intellect. What's particularly interesting is that this "relationship" is formed by way of phone calls and crime scene clues left by Angelo. They don't actually meet until well into the film. Vincke and Ledda share more in life experience than either of than would like to admit and that adds friction and ambiguity that gives this film its substantial bone structure.
There is a very funny and strange scene about mid film in which Ledda wakes up in bed in the throes of an Alzheimer's episode after having sex with a sexy short haired platinum blond, looks around and forgets who she is and what he has just done to her: scary and patently real.
There are many ways in which "The Memory of a Killer" reminds me of Helen Mirren's PBS series, "Prime Suspect" in that the police are just as messed up psychologically and morally conflicted as the criminals. And this brings a certain verisimilitude to the proceedings: we are after all human, all capable of the best and the worst in human behavior and like Leda: "mastered by the brute blood in the air."