Forty-five-year-old Marie Vankelmuth is an artist based in Amsterdam. A few years ago, she released a comic book, which was a great success, after which the publishing house signed a contract with Marie for the release of several more books, but after the first success, Marie did not give out anything worthy of publication, and in addition, she began to try to stimulate creative inspiration with alcohol, and this quite expectedly led only to the fact that the artist became an alcoholic. In addition, she also had a bad heredity with this defect: Marie’s mother was also an alcoholic, from which she died.
At the moment, Marie is single, she is divorced from her husband. The artist lives in a cheap and shabby, albeit rather big apartment in the “red light district” of Amsterdam. Her loneliness is brightened up only by a dog. Every evening, Marie gets drunk in one of the bars in the neighborhood, and since a woman becomes quite violent when drunk, this is unlikely to lead her to good.
Returning to the apartment after the bar, Marie catches up with vodka or something else that comes to hand, in order to surely pass out and forget about her miserable life at least for a while. From time to time, while under the influence of alcohol, she tries to draw something and even then shows these drawings to the publisher, but he says that the drawings are no good.
One evening, when Marie refused to sell alcohol in the store, citing the fact that the woman was already quite drunk, she met a man on the street with a bottle in his hand and asked to treat her to a sip. The man refused, but said that he liked Marie’s red shoes and was ready to exchange the bottle for shoes. The artist agrees and gives the shoes to the man.
Some time later, returning home after another booze, Marie sees her shoes behind bars on the windowsill in the window of the second floor of the house opposite. She doesn’t think much anymore, so she takes a ladder and makes her way through the roofs to this apartment. The shoes will not fit through the bars, but there is money on the table, seized with a clothespin, and then Marie, who desperately needs the money, steals this money. And this is a rather large amount – two thousand two hundred and fifty euros.
The problem is that this man, whose name is Dragomir, very quickly finds out who exactly stole the money. And since Dragomir belongs to a specific crime, the artist will be drawn into very big trouble.
Little-known (only 188 votes on IMDB) author’s Dutch cinema. The script was written by Lennert Hillege and Guido van Driel based on the comic book artist Marie Wankelmuth (yes, the main character has the name of the artist herself), they also directed this film together, and for Hillege it was the first directorial experience: before that he had made more than fifty films and serials as an operator. However, in this picture, Lennert also worked as a cameraman. The film received a nomination at the Rotterdam Film Festival and three nominations at the Netherlands Film Festival in 2019.
The film’s title obviously refers to the famous Bloody Mary alcoholic cocktail, but also alludes to certain events in the life of the protagonist.
Before meeting with Dragomir, the style of the picture is a kind of drama noir. Marie, dancing in a bar, drifting away into the alcoholic wilds, the night, the neon lights of the “red light district”, crowds of people wandering the streets back and forth, who do not care about the main character. However, she also, in general, does not care about other people.
After meeting Dragomir and Marie climbing into his apartment, an already tense thriller begins. Dragomir initially seems to behave quite friendly and speaks politely, but at the same time it is perfectly clear that he is a very dangerous person and that Mari contacted him in vain.
And, in fact, almost two-thirds of the film is devoted to how Marie will try to get out of this whole story and what consequences her act will have for the artist herself and for some other people.
Marie was played by a good German actress Susanna Wolf, in addition to this film, I also watched the film “Styx” with her, which is in my channel on Cinezen. In fact, Suzanne here plays a German woman living in Amsterdam, and she speaks three languages in the film: Dutch, German and English.
I really liked this role. A pretty middle-aged woman who, by the way, does not at all look like a downtrodden alcoholic. (However, we don’t know, perhaps she began to lead such a lifestyle relatively recently and all this has not yet been reflected on her face.) Despite the fact that she behaves quite idiotically, you still feel sympathy for her, because that it is clear that she drinks from the oppressive emptiness inside, well, she only makes things worse for herself, and not for someone else.
And then, when Marie steals money belonging to a criminal group on a drunken bench, she becomes completely scared for her, because it is clear that, of course, she will not get away with it. But at the same time, it is interesting to see how Marie will try to cope with all this: she is not one of those people who immediately give up.
The Romanian-born actor Dragosh Bucur did a great job with this Dragomir. Charismatic, smiling, initially even charming, but it is well understood that this person is dangerous and that it is better not to give him reasons to be dissatisfied. And how much he is transformed when all the masks were removed and it was already possible not to pretend to be courtesy itself.
Also Mark Ritman is good in the role of Jos, the head of this whole gang. Jos is dying of some kind of lung disease, but at the same time he continues to sort out all sorts of problems. A kind of walking semi-corpse, which barely moves, but even in this state it causes downright animal horror.
I liked “Bloody Mary” – it’s a good author’s film. Atmospheric, tense, gripping, it’s professionally directed (Lennert Hillege’s cinematography is also noteworthy), and it has very decent acting. About life, about loneliness, about self-destruction, about the fact that all actions, even spontaneous and random ones, have their consequences, including for other people, and that one should not give up in any situation.
Bloody Marie review
Directed by: Lennert Hillege, Guido van Driel Cast: Susanna Wolf, Dragos Bucur, Theun Luuks, Jan Beivut, Teresa Affolter, Mark Ritman, Leni Brederveld, Dennis Rudge, Alexia Lestibudua
Thriller drama, Netherlands, 2019, 87 min.