Country: Netherlands / Belgium
Movie Review: Nominated for Cannes’ Palm d’Or, “Borgman”, is a cold-blooded thriller coming from Netherlands that will leave you disconcerted, functioning as a psychological study of human evilness and showing the power of manipulation. The film didn’t disappoint after a magnificent start, when a raging priest and two other men embark in a manhunt, finding a camouflaged hole in the forest ground that served as a hideaway for Camiel Borgman (Jan Bijvoet), a merciless criminal who operates conjointly with his gang of four followers. Borgman, on the run, infiltrates within an unbalanced upper-class family, taking advantage of the unhappy and insecure Marina (Hadewych Minis), and setting a strange bond with her kids, especially the younger daughter, Isolde. A sinister game starts to be played, keeping the high levels of suspense and spreading a torrent of madness, here presented in bizarre forms together with sarcastic humor. The story lives pretty much of unexpected turns that kept the viewer searching for answers, deliberately left unexplained in order to baffle us and increase our curiosity. Filmmaker van Warmerdam directed with proficiency and refinement (evoking Pablo Larraín’s morbidness, dark humor, and cynicism), and also appears as an actor, playing one of Borgman’s gang fellows. In this hymn to insanity, Jan Bijvoet and Hadewych Minis were fabulous in their roles, playing ‘the game’ with diligence and daring to convert “Borgman” into a cult-film.