duminică, 25 iunie 2017

Schneider vs. Bax, written, directed by and starring Alex van Warmerdam

Schneider vs. Bax, written, directed by and starring Alex van Warmerdam

A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:

This is a very interesting Dutch film.
We are lucky to have such fare on the five HBO channels that we have available- ever since Netflix moved in town.

Competition can produce miracles.
Schneider vs. Bax is a thriller with a twist.

We have the familiar story of a killer, assigned a target.
But this could be about all that comes “naturally”.

Because Schneider does not want to do the job.
And I think it is unusual to call the killer on his birthday.

Surrounded by family, the hit man says no, but he is convinced by Mertens, the employer.
He has a Skoda that he drives to his “office”.

This is where he keeps a Volkswagen van and the tools of the trade.
Ramon Bax is a writer and lives in a secluded place.

He is therefore an accessible target.
Schneider takes the van, after he uses some disguise.
As he is assessing the location, he is approached by a guard.

On the phone with Mertens, the killer is very upset:

-          You did not tell me about this being a reservation
-          I was stopped by a guard and now I have to go back
-          But why?
-          I have to use another disguise…you didn’t know I am using disguises?

Ramon Bax is not the most likeable victim, one that we would feel sorry for…
He is in the company of a woman, Lucy, towards whom he is very offensive, telling her to leave quickly.

His daughter is coming and when the lover protests that she is also important, she is told to be out in 10 seconds.
The viewer almost wishes to see Schneider walk through the door and teach the old chauvinist pig a lesson…

When the daughter comes, she does not get an answer at the door and when she looks around the house, the father is on the toilet.
All sorts of personages make an appearance, from Bax’s father and his really young girlfriend to Gina, who is taken prisoner by Schneider.

Lucy comes back with a friend, to take her things and she meets with her much older lover, Bax, who is upset:

-          Is this the friend who can take care of me with a finger?!
-          Yes

So Bax, who is in turn a sort of killer himself, shoots a finger off the hand of the outraged and freaked out young man.
The grandfather turns out to be a weirdo, outré if not totally outlandish and despicable man that suffers a tragic fate.

All sorts of unexpected incidents take place and this is a comedy drama, with victims when we expect nothing and laughter when we see a death in the script.
Gina, the kidnapped middle aged woman is sent as a messenger to the Bax house, where the daughter answers the door.

The prisoner is on the run and says something like- “look, I gave you the message and I have to go know…

-          Look at my ankle, if I do not return now, he will blow me off…

A good entertainment, 8 out of 10.

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