20th Jan2020

‘Bloody Marie’ VOD Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Susanne Wolff, Dragos Bucur, Alexia Lestiboudois, Teun Luijkx, Jan Bijvoet, Therese Affolter, Mark Rietman, Kim Hertogs, Leny Breederveld, Dennis Rudge, Murth Mossel, Valentijn Dhaenens, Martijn van der Veen, Anna Tenta | Written and Directed by Lennert Hillege, Guido van Driel

Bloody-Marie-poster

The Netherlands is not a country that is very well known for its movies. Off the top of my head the only one I can actually think of is Christmas horror movie Sint/Saint (which is pretty good so check it out next December), so Bloody Marie enters a very small list of my movie watching entitled ‘Dutch cinema’.

Bloody Marie is the story of (unsurprisingly) Marie. A woman who was once a successful comic book artist but is now struggling to make a living through her art and lives in the Red Light District of Amsterdam. She is mostly drunk and walks the streets at night almost looking for a conflict but her life changes after one incident too many with her neighbour.

There’s a ‘near incident’ before this which is probably my favourite scene in the movie. It shows off the red lights of Amsterdam while Marie goes on a crazy drunken journey over rooftops.

The first three quarters of Bloody Marie are basically a character study of the lead woman. And Marie is an interesting character to watch. On the face of things she is a very stereotypical movie character. Someone who was once successful but now struggling and drowning her sorrows. But I think the writing and the performance from Susanne Wolff manage to drag it away from mediocrity.

Wolff is just very watchable and natural in the role who then comes into her own in the last fifteen minutes when the acting takes on a more serious tone. She makes a character that could have been very one-dimensional, much more interesting than that.

The streets of Amsterdam are extremely well shot. I was ready to say they looked great but that doesn’t feel like the right term here. This is not the touristy side of Amsterdam (well not the family tourist side anyway), this shows the grimy dingy streets. Often dimly lit, quiet and occasionally scary. The kind of back allies where illegal and horrible things happen. Everything is shot with thought, the filmmakers know exactly how they want the film too look. There’s nothing glamorous about this area and the people that live in it. Which is a reflection on how Marie’s life is going.

The final moments of the movie are probably where it will be judged most. It’s not exactly surprising and the script has a few too many coincidences and crazy happenings for a movie that is actually very grounded but it added a burst of energy that was probably needed. Bloody Marie never bored me but it does have a slow pace, even at less than an hour and twenty minutes.

I’m not sure Bloody Marie will stick in my memory for too long but that doesn’t make it a bad movie. There’s plenty going on here and a really good main performance that deserves to be seen.

*** 3/5

Bloody Marie is available on demand now from Uncork’d Entertainment.

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