Review: Pie Man (2009)

Pie Man (2009)

Directed by: Annemarie van de Mond | 77 minutes | comedy, crime | Actors: Jaap Spijkers, Betty Schuurman, Dajo Hogeweg, Eva van der Gucht, Guus Dam, Ilias Ojja, Marina Wijn, Finn Poncin, Marcel Musters, René van ‘t Hof, Martijn Fischer, Marcel van der Velden, Sylvia Hoeks, Arnoud Bos , Myranda Jongeling, Rik Launspach, Tjitske Reidinga, Neeltje de Vree, Mike Reus, Remco Melles, Maartje van de Wetering, Rense Westra, Herman van Ulzen

With ‘Taartman’, director Annemarie van de Mond delivers a Telefilm for the second time (the first is ‘HannaHannaH’ from 2007). This is based on an ingenious scenario by Pieter Bart Korthuis. Combined with the excellent direction and the visible pleasure the cast had in making this crime comedy, this makes ‘Taartman’ one of the better Dutch feature films of recent times.

Pastry baker Ben van Bommel (Jaap Spijkers) has been in the business for years, his patisserie is passed down from generation to generation to the next young Van Bommel. His wife Tine (Betty Schuurmans) does the bookkeeping and is in the shop and the other three staff members do not excel in their profession, but Ben struggles through it and is not easily discouraged. His marriage is not bad, although Tine pays more attention to the refurbishment of the spacious house than to her husband, but on the other hand, Tine’s complaint that Ben gets up at five in the morning and goes to bed at half past nine is also understandable. When suddenly a bailiff comes by who casually informs Ben that he has to cough up more than twenty thousand euros within two weeks, otherwise the case will be seized, you see his world collapse. Unaware of his wife’s out-of-control spending, but also not making much effort to ask her, Ben struggles with this problem for several days, until he arrives at the wedding of Sjoerd (Marcel Musters), a friend. , of whom the viewer now knows that he is a pawn in the game of the local drug mafia, receives an offer to collect the necessary twenty thousand euros with an hour of work. Ben is hesitant at first, but the solution is too good to pass up, so he gives in.

On the way to the place where the transaction will take place, things go wrong, and right. In a scene, which is very cleverly conceived, already shown from a different perspective at the beginning of the film, so as to increase its credibility, we see that Ben can never make it in time to close the deal. Even after that, fate continues to defy the poor sympathetic confectioner. The other storylines, relating to Tine and Ben’s colleague Bertrand (Rik Launspach) and those of Ben’s son Sebastiaan (Dajo Hogeweg) and Eva (Neeltje de Vree) are also well developed. Especially the last two actors provide many humorous scenes. Topper, however, is Jaap Spijkers, who flawlessly portrays Ben van Bommel as a man who is “way too good for the world”, but ultimately chooses for himself.

‘Taartman’ is a very nice comedy of errors. So much goes wrong that it is almost unbelievable, but that is precisely the strength of the film. The screenplay doesn’t run around certain clichés, but that doesn’t bother anywhere, the pace is too high and the subtle humor is too fun. Pie Man is a mouth watering movie!

Comments are closed.