Tuesday, 30 August 2016

clean hands (w&d. tjebbo penning; w. carl joos)

Sometimes you head blind to the cinema. You have a few spare hours and pick something at random. It's a hit and miss process. Clean Hands is a Dutch film, released in the UK, which makes it a rarity. For all I know Holland may have a cinema culture as radical as its footballing culture. For a country which is geographically so close as well as being culturally so for centuries, we in Britain know very little about Dutch cinema. Unfortunately, Clean Hands does not offer much of an insight into what we might be missing. It's a generic crime caper. There's a plucky heroine married to a small time hood who starts relatively sympathetic and then becomes increasingly psychotic. The narrative depicts a woman in peril, doing what she can to get by. The acting is fine and there may be nuances to the dialogue which the subtitles didn't capture, but in the end this is a humdrum tale. For all its competence, the movie never succeeds in generating any real tension. It makes one wonder why, of all the Dutch films which one imagines are made every year, this one was chosen for a UK release. The cinema was surprisingly full for an afternoon weekday screening. If there is an audience for Clean Hands, how much greater might be the interest in something more adventurous? 

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