Review: TBS (2008)

TBS (2008)

Directed by: Pieter Kuijpers | 88 minutes | thriller | Actors: Theo Maassen, Lisa Smit, Bob Schwarze, Ria Marks, Karst Woudstra, Flip Filz, Romana Vrede, Martijn de Rijk, Menno van Beekum, Roos Ouwehand, Kevin Llewellyn, Bing Wiersma, Peter van Bokhorst, Yale Sackman, Pim Lambeau, Mike Meijer , Sacha Bulthuis, Jobst Schnibbe, Pieter Embrechts, Joren Seldeslachts, Stef Aerts, Caspar Brakel, Bert Knockaert

Johan, the leading role in ‘TBS’, is played by the well-known comedian Theo Maassen. In terms of casting, that choice is without a doubt a success. With his large body and heavy beard growth, his physical appearance is impressive and he radiates a certain ‘threat’. Theo gained acting experience in previous supporting roles in several films.

The film starts with a session of a support group in the TBS institution in which Johan plays the game. Johan is convicted of the murder of his father and his sister. He stands in a group, talks about the murder of his father that he committed and for which he is in the TBS institution and defiantly asks the psychologist: ‘Have I done so well?’

However, when he is refused probation, he becomes desperate. He admits to killing his father for sexually abusing him. However, he stubbornly denies the murder of his sister and says that his father also abused and killed her. Now that his mother does not want to visit him and also refuses contact, he can never prove the innocence he claims about this. In his despair, he sees no other option but to escape. Together with a messed up fellow patient, he runs off, where they take the treating psychologist hostage.

On that flight, he comes across a weapon through the fellow escapee. He first flees to his parental home where he relives his past abuse. The house is not inhabited, his mother lives elsewhere. Discovered by the police, he again flees and takes the thirteen-year-old girl Tessa (Lisa Smit) hostage.

Initially, Tessa is terrified, but Johan treats her well and has no intention of harming her. Less strong in the storyline is the situation where Tessa tries to call for help at a gas station via a cry for help on the mirror. Johan behaves very suspiciously here, certainly in the way he stands in front of her toilet door. Their behavior should have set alarm bells ringing with the gas station employee. Johan visits his grandmother, but she is silent. Apparently there is a great and burdensome secret in the past. Dramatic developments follow. Slowly a number of features of the person behind Johan’s appearance unfold.

Johan gives Tessa food and drink, creating a paradoxical situation known as the Stockholm Syndrome. The hostage then has a positive attitude towards the hostage-taker. Tessa starts to trust him and starts to help him, fleeing is no longer an issue. When they eventually find the mother at a campsite in Belgium, dramatic developments follow that nevertheless show the dark side of Johan. A good find is the way in which Theo puts the insecure 13-year-old girl at ease and wins her trust. The police track them down again and a highly believable chase ensues with an outcome that you will have to see for yourself.

Intelligent and ingenious scenario with unexpected and sometimes violent twists that completely fit into the storyline. A minor and minor point of criticism is that some scenes do not flow smoothly into each other during editing. Great locations, supported by a good soundtrack. Convincing game. Good psychological thriller.

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