With “Valse wals”, director Marc de Cloe (known for several “Boy Meets Girl Stories” episodes) filmed Orchater’s theater triptych Valse wals / Couch / Zucht. The play is followed in three parts: meeting, relationship and end of life. In the first part, the protagonists (Ria Marks and Titus Tiel Groenestege) passionately show each other every corner of the sailor’s café where the woman works. In the second part they sit as a couple on the couch in a living room and in the third part they trudge through the busy traffic like heavily packed elderly people. The passion of the first part is un-Dutch, but the sea and the sky do have that Dutch greyness. Those gray colors contrast with what De Cloe seems to want to tell the viewer: that it all takes place in Spain.
Where it takes place may not matter, the fact that filming was done in both Holland and Spain can also emphasize the idea of cold-warm. Because “False waltz” goes from big emotions to small ones and back again. The way De Cloe does this is a different story. It already starts in the opening scene in which the camera slowly moves up and down with the sea as background noise. You get the idea that the cafe where the waitress is mopping the floor is a ship, but at the same time the effect is literally nauseating. Many effects are applied in “False Waltz”, with varying degrees of success. If the image stands still and then fades, it reminds too much of a bad 80s series. But especially nice is the scene in which the man rewinds his wife with the remote control. And particularly beautiful is the scene in which the two – as elderly people – dance very quietly on a platform, while travelers come and go around them. In addition to visual tricks, director De Cloe also applies many sound tricks. For example, there is a hilarious scene in which the sound of the tea being poured precedes the actual pouring and the stirring of a cup shifts the entire sofa. The soundtrack is very strong anyway, with appropriate jazz and tango tunes at the times of dancing.
The soundtrack must therefore be strong, because not a word is spoken in the film. There is more dancing and acting. Ria Marks and Titus Tiel Groenestege are brilliant in their roles, especially with the female character you completely empathize. The choreography is impressive, as a viewer you will clearly see the parallel between the dance and a relationship: attracting and repelling, being carried away or left behind. De Cloe creates a special, symbolic work with inventive situations (such as a bed on wheels). It is mainly due to some misused effects and the often artificial use of light that “False Waltz” has not become a masterpiece.