Why is this funny? Well, because:
1) The revenant is a masterpiece compared to Erik Van Looy‘s latest movie, De Premier.
2) Leonardo DiCaprio is a far more sophisticated actor than Koen De Bouw.
3) And as hard as it is to admit: the weakest link in an otherwise fine movie is … see below.
Let’s start with the ugly.
Koen De Bouw is a decent actor, one who controls the ugliness of drama perfectly. Especially in the Belgian court-drama Het Vonnis he shows his true worth. It’s his finest performance yet, and one of the best movies he’s every had.
But Koen De Bouw also has one significant flaw, one that he carries with himself throughout his entire career. He’s not very good at emphasizing raw emotions. Emotions like white anger, extreme fear or a terrible sadness that will penetrate through each person’s heart.
In De Premier this flaw become very apparent, as the movie needs an actor who can draw from many different kinds of emotional states. And as much as he tries, Koen De Bouw simply does not possess the raw power to portray the complexity of his character.
Luckily, the movie offers a greater selection of wonderful actors who save the movie from becoming a bore.
There’s Tine Reymer who plays the part of the wife of the Belgian Prime Minister.
Unlike her counterpart, she is in *total* control of her emotions and lets them fly across the screen with a subtle greatness. Her heartfelt empathy towards saving her children or keeping her husband safe is often so realistically portrayed, you’ll find yourself holding back the tears.
Also a great performance though quite something else is Stijn Van Opstal who plays the part of the maniacal limousine driver.
The way he pertains himself to show a crazy sense of dark humor, or how he installs fear onto his subordinates is done with such excellence … you’ll wonder why you haven’t heard much of this actor before!
He is quite easily the very best thing about the movie, acting-wise.
Finally there’s also actress Charlotte Vandermeersch who starts off weak and unconvincing in her part, but as time rolls by she sinks deeper, only to emerge herself completely in her character by the time the toilet scene occurs. This movie scene – easily the very best of the movie – is both disturbing to watch but entertaining in every single frame!
(you’ll know it when you watch the movie)
There’s the close-up of the foot in the muddy water. There’s the long shot of the house of the premier, beautifully framed from a great distance, while a group of mysterious hooded men step into view. And there’s even a shot of the White House (in a Belgian movie, ladies & gentlemen!)
In the end, De Premier is a good movie that’s definitely worth watching.
There are some minor flaws, like the ending that feels rushed or the bad choice of having two British actors for the parts of the American president and his Chief of Security (even though they both try their best to shield their English accent) as well as the acting of Koen De Bouw which doesn’t look like much from the get-go.
Fortunately, De Premier has a lot more to offer than a few hasty mistakes.
And the only way you’re every going to know about it – is to go and see this fine Belgian movie!
Did you know?
Tine Reymer – who plays the wife of the prime minister – is in real life married to famous Belgian actor Peter Van den Begin, with whom she has two children.
Give it to me straight:
De Premier is a good movie that could’ve been a great movie.
Erik Van Looy promised his fans his biggest movie yet, and it truly shows! Some of the camera angles he uses are quite innovative, and the locations in this movie are some of the best you’ll ever see in a Belgian production. Kudos to the director!
The problem however is that main actor Koen De Bouw lacks any serious integrity in performing real emotions, and how the ending – the real ending – feels a bit rushed, almost as though the filmmakers had no more money to spend.
But fortunately enough, there’s a bunch of great actors who put their shoulders under this daring project. Especially Tine Reymer as the grieving wife and Stijn Van Opstal as the dangerously comical limousine driver push this Belgian movie to a higher standard.
It will take another ten years before Belgium can make movies the way the old US of A does … but De Premier is absolutely a step in the right direction!