Review: Been nice (2018)

Been nice (2018)

Directed by: Mari Sanders | 50 minutes | short film, drama | Actors: Leny Breederveld, Cas Enklaar, Maria Kraakman, Maarten Heijmans

Nel and Gerard have had a good and rich life together in ‘Beautiful’, in which they got everything out of it. As old age approaches, they reflect on their future. They once agreed to take their own lives together before the decline set in. A final act of unbounded love. That moment has now arrived for Gerard (Cas Enklaar). After all, you should leave the party if it’s still fun. After all these years, however, Nel (Leny Breederveld) started to have doubts. Is a final ending still such a good idea? The garden just looks great. Her daughter is divorced and may need help with the grandchildren. And somehow she’s been chasing her husband long enough.

The notion of free termination of life is interesting, but is not worked out equally vigorously in ‘Been Nice’. It starts with a flashback in which the appointment is sealed. They were young and lively. Any motivation, other than love, is lacking. That Nel eventually starts to doubt more and more about the upcoming end is clearly explained. It’s true, but maybe it’s all a bit too good. As a result, the film feels flat-written, as if death has already set in. When the views of the two go their separate ways, cracks naturally appear in their relationship. As a result, what has always been concealed is subtly revealed. The disagreement brings some life to the film, the characters actually get a voice. The dialogues also become sharper, although the many tile wisdoms prove the opposite.

Although the moody lighting gives the film atmosphere, the static and somewhat stale cinematography is also not very exciting. The result of all this is that as a spectator you would like the two to find a way out of their mutual misery, but that you are not optimally convinced to give it an emotional interpretation yourself. Life doesn’t always go the way you want, that’s how ‘Been Nice’ wants to tell you. Planning is therefore pointless. Unfortunately, it is a freedom that the makers themselves have hardly taken to heart.

Comments are closed.