Friday, March 6, 2015

Film on Friday #34 - Kidnapping Mr. Heineken

I love 'heist' movies and today's Film on Friday entry falls into that category, with a bit of a twist. Instead of robbery, its kidnapping. And as the title says - Kidnapping Mr. Heineken is indeed the taking of beer magnate Freddy Heineken. What made this a must watch for me is that it's true. All of it. In 1983, a group of friends trying to save their legitimate enterprises needed money desperately. And one of them has the idea to kidnap Freddy Heineken. They do - and  they collect what was the largest ransom ever at that time. But did it solve their problems?

Based on crime journalist Peter R. de Vries’s 1987 book, Kidnapping Mr. Heineken takes us from the idea, to the planning, to the execution and -  the aftermath.

"There are two ways a man can be rich in this world - he can have a lot of money or he can have a lot of friends - but he cannot have both."

These are the opening lines from Anothony Hopkins (Freddy Heineken). I love Hopkin's voice - it's so rich and sonorous, making you stop and listen with every nuance he injects into his lines. In this case it's quite prophetic. From a tight knit group in the beginning, the relationships and trust between the friends disintegrates. And Alfredson follows the dissolution with his camera.

I was fascinated with the story and ended up reading much more about it on the Internet. Truth is stranger than fiction. There's much more the story 'after' but Kidnapping Mr. Heineken does a good job of bringing this fascinating piece of crime history to the screen.

I thought the cast was good - Hopkins as always is a standout for me. His character does not act like a victim at all - there were shades of Hannibal in some of his innocent yet loaded comments. The rest of the cast was great but I did have trouble not seeing Ryan Kwanten as his True Blood character. The struggle between between brothers in law Cor (Sturgess) and Willem (Worthington) over direction and leadership was well played. Worthington also never disappoints me. The movie was actually shot in the Netherlands - the settings added much to the overall tone of the film.

Kidnapping Mr. Heineken stars Anthony Hopkins, Jim Sturgess, Sam Worthington, Ryan Kwanten, Mark Van Eewen, Thomas Cocquerel and Jemima West. Written by William Brookfield and directed by Daniel Alfredson. Interestingly, another film from the Netherlands was made in 2011 based on this same set of events. The Heineken Kidnapping.

Not a 'you must go see', but definitely entertaining. Sit down with a Heineken at home one night and enjoy. Rated R. Running time 95 minutes. In theaters and available on VOD March 6, 2015.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

That sounds like something my guys would like.