Review: Julia’s Heart (2009)

Julia’s Heart (2009)

Directed by: Peter de Baan | 84 minutes | drama, romance | Actors: Sanne den Hartogh, Willemijn Kressenhof, Koen Wouterse, Marielle van Sauers, Margo Dames, Lidewij Mahler, Felix Burleson, Monic Hendrickx, Michiel Zeegers, Laura de Boer, Ryan Beekhuizen, Jade Olieberg, Saskia Temmink, Nico de Vries, Lottie Hellingman , Bas Keijzer, Reinier Noordzij, Julia van de Graaf, Nanette Edens, Maud Dolsma, Arnoud Bos, Ineke Veenhoven, Klaas Hulst, Kees Schilverli, Annemaaike Bakker, Hans Thissen, Steven Laureys, Pim van Lommel, Sander Bais

Organ donation is a serious and high-profile business. Saving lives in this way is a topic that is very topical. In ‘Julia’s heart’ the theme takes on a fairytale-like charge. The film shares similarities with ‘Return to Me’, the romantic comedy in which David Duchovny’s character falls in love with Grace Biggs (Minnie Driver), the bearer of his late wife’s heart, but ‘Julia’s heart’ is deviant enough not to be weak. be called a deduction. The main character in this Telefilm deliberately searches for the one who has received the heart of his beloved, in the firm conviction that the heart will recognize him. He hopes to rediscover some of the magic of his relationship. If this works, you will have to watch the film yourself.

Thomas and Julia are soul mates, destined for each other and they have known that since they were fourteen, when Julia comes to live with Thomas in the street. The mother of Hindustani Julia is vehemently against the relationship, which soon develops into true love, but later she breaks something down. Thomas is an intelligent teenager who approaches many things scientifically, including love. Julia is more of the feelings. The film skips a few years and instead of Ryan Beekhuizen (Thomas) and Jade Olieberg (Julia), we now see Sanne den Hartogh in the role of Thomas and Willemijn Kressenhof as Julia. They are still together, living in a squatted schoolhouse and nothing can disturb their happiness. It seems. They are going on a world tour and the night before departure they throw a farewell party for friends and family. After this last romantic night in the Netherlands, Julia suddenly gets the urge to go to the Hortus, where she works, because she is convinced that her favorite plant, the Puya raimondii, is blooming. On her way there, she is hit by a truck and ends up in a coma. Thomas’ world collapses. When Julia is pronounced dead, it appears that she has a donor card, and there is a candidate for her heart. Thomas’s sense of granting Julia’s dying wish clashes with her family’s belief that she should be cremated as a whole.

What stands out about ‘Julia’s heart’ are the scenes in which Thomas has visions of scientists who explain to him how consciousness lives on after someone’s death. Cardiologist Pim van Lommel, coma researcher Steven Laureys and physicist Sander Bais speak (under their own title). It gives the film a magical-realistic touch. In addition, the screenwriters (Ger Beukenkamp and Mirjam Oomkes) have explored the characters in depth and dealt with many themes, so that the film seems to be bursting at the seams: for just under an hour and a half, the viewer has a lot to choose from. Not only organ donation, but also other (sometimes controversial) topics, such as sex with a coma patient. Urged on by Thomas’ friend David (Koen Wouterse) (“Girls are in a coma as often as you do it with them”) and Thomas’ mother, Kate (Monic Hendrickx), Thomas reluctantly tries to let Julia go. awakening. Also the Hindu faith, the choice between burial and cremation and how to deal with confidential patient information is treated. Each character has one or more separate characteristics: Thomas stutters and is an insecure person in addition to being intellectual and obsessive. Julia is a spiritual young lady, Kate is a tolerant woman, who frequently (and to the point of irritating) quotes “life wisdom” from movies. Thomas’ friend David is a womanizer who uses blunt remarks to try to get Thomas’s life back on track after Julia’s death.

The end of the film can be predicted approximately after an hour, but then there is still a controversial topic to be discussed. How far the viewer takes this will determine his or her appreciation of the film: are you more on the side of David (“You are very wrong, Thomas”) or can you understand Thomas’ crusade… ‘Julia’s heart’ is basically an entertaining and sweet fairy tale, which, however, does not convince everywhere.

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