Sunday, October 26, 2008


Not exactly what I was hoping for, as the fictional tale created around one of Rembrandt most famous paintings was not really interesting or at least entertaining and even when the visuals where nice to watch at the beginning, fast enough became tedious up to the point where I closed my eyes several times and fall asleep.

I have seen some Peter Greenaway movies and one that I really loved for its visuals, story and performances is the amazing The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover and one art related that I did enjoy is The Architect’s Belly. But seems like with the first movie of a series he calls Dutch Masters he’s far away from the filmmaking he used to do years ago.

The tale behind Rembrandt’s paint commonly known as De Nachtwacht (The Night Watch) is about a murder conspiracy theory he uncovers with the painting and how the conspirators plan revenge. This allows to show a slice of the Rembrandt with a reason why to his decline.

The film looks and feels like a stage play not only because the bare settings but also because the actors performances. I have to admit that some takes look like paintings; even the framing of those scenes follows the classic composition style of paintings and later photography. There are scenes that the actors remain still for seconds giving you time to admire the compositions. But it wasn’t enough for me to get interested in following the fictional story behind the painting and after a while all the “paintings” started to look the same.

The movie was screened at the 2007 Venice Film Festival were Peter Greenway won the Mimmo Rotella Foundation Award and the Open Prize; has other wins for tech specs at the 2007 Nederlands Film Festival and Leo Awards.

I believe that if you’re a Peter Greenway fan perhaps this film could disappoint you too, as I believe that the natural target for the movie is those that like classical stage plays taken to the big screen as if they were performed in a theater and with average actors performances.

No, I cannot recommend this movie.

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