Review: Fat Dap (2017)

Fat Dap (2017)

Directed by: Barbara Bredero | 74 minutes | family | Actors: Liam de Vries, Martijn Fischer, Dolores Leeuwin, Medi Broekman, Egbert Jan Weeber, Aqil Dahhan, Rayan Belrhazi Alaoui

‘Dikkertje Dap’, after the famous poem by Annie MG Schmidt, tells about the unusual friendship between a little boy and a giraffe. In that original version Dikkertje, as the boy is called, goes to the Amsterdam zoo Artis to give his friend the giraffe a sugar cube, tell him about his red boots and his knowledge of the alphabet and to slip off his long neck. It closes with a promise to come back the next day.

The film version of ‘Dikkertje Dap’ extends the lovely verse into an evening-filling spectacle. That endearing thing has remained. The lovingly filmed ‘Dikkertje Dap’ exudes an authentic atmosphere. Artis has been exchanged for a small, Old Dutch city zoo, where the boy’s grandfather has a job as a zookeeper. Dikkertje (an endearing Liam de Vries) has been at home since he was born. Since his birth coincided with that of Giraffe Raf, the two have been inseparable ever since. Every day the blond boy visits his tall friend. They share sugar cubes, play with a ball and if Raf doesn’t mind, the boy can slide off his back. However, that beautiful life threatens to come to an end when Dikkertje goes to primary school for the first time. Because can his great friend Raf come along?

There is also a dark side to the lovely character of the film. ‘Dikkertje Dap’ is indeed very good. The youngest film viewer will have no problem with that, but for older generations the film could have been a bit more subversive. The love plot of grandpa (Martijn Fischer) and Dikkertje’s teacher (Dolores Leeuwin) makes for a smile, but otherwise the film is a slick fill-in exercise.

The image content conforms to this. For example, the talking giraffe Raf is no more than a somewhat soulless, mechanical doll. Again fun for the little ones, children with more image experience can now see through it quickly. In addition, the film shows an old-fashioned Netherlands that no longer exists. Very graceful, but perhaps also a bit fake. The question ultimately arises whether Dutch film is well served by this kind of limited target group thinking.

Comments are closed.