Review: The Annoying Island (2019)

The Annoying Island (2019)

Directed by: Albert Jan van Rees | 90 minutes | adventure, comedy | Actors: Matsen Montsma, Jacob Derwig, Ivy Ribbens, Tjitske Reidinga, Ilse Warringa, Noortje Herlaar, Henry van Loon, Leny Breederveld, Martine Sandifort, Albert Jan van Rees, Ellen Parren, Wart Kamps, Randy Fokke, Sadettin Kirmiziyuz, Stefan Stasse, Amber Robin Berentsen, Yenthe Bos, Ruben Brinkman, Sam den Tenter, Don Duyns, Jennifer Evenhuis, Rover van Gennep, Dana Goldberg, Aus Greidanus Jr., Mattijn Hartemink, Martijn Hillenius, Bas Hoeflaak, Sander Huisman, Bart Klever, Rienus Krul, Maike Meijer, Masataka Miyanaga, Pim Muda, Wouter Oosterwijk, Rosa Reuten, Teun Stockel, Bauke van Boheemen

The brothers Tim and Wart Kamps became known as comedians. Together with Bor Rooyackers, they won both the jury and audience prize at the Amsterdam Kleinkunst Festival in 1998. After eleven years, the Kamps twins continued as a duo and in the same year (2009) they formed the Monica Da Silva Trio with colleague Arjen Lubach. Wart and Tim are also active as television producers. Their hilarious science fiction comedy ‘Mission Earth’ developed into a cult favorite. And now there is their first feature film, the Telefilm ‘The annoying island’ (2019). With the same absurdist humor that we are used to from the brothers, but aimed at a young audience. Wart and Tim wrote the screenplay, Albert Jan van Rees (‘Doris’, 2018) directed. And a variety of well-known actors pass by in large and smaller roles: Jacob Derwig, Noortje Herlaar, Tjitske Reidinga, Ilse Warringa, Martine Sandifort, Leny Breederveld and Henry van Loon pass by (there is a high ‘Luizenmoeder’ content) . And Wart Kamps himself also plays a part.

‘The Annoying Island’ begins with a scene in the Middle Ages. A group of savage villagers target the mysterious Amarantha (Noortje Herlaar), who they claim is a witch. To prove this, she is pushed into the water: if she floats, then she is indeed a witch and must be prosecuted. However, Amarantha disappears underwater. Just as the stunned people dare to jump to conclusions, a ghostly apparition of Amarantha rises from the water to tell them that their actions will be punished: she casts a curse on them. From now on they are forever annoying. Fast forward to the present tense. A father (Mattin Hartemink) tells his son (Rover van Gennep) a bedtime story. The boy is actually just too old for that, but because the family has just moved and he doesn’t really feel at home in his new bedroom yet, his father decides to reassure him. Everyone feels out of place from time to time, but there is always something to be done about it, is the message of his story.

That island full of annoying people still exists, according to the father. There is only one boy on the whole island who is not annoying, the young Hunter (Matsen Montsma). By now he is used to the fact that everyone around him has rather nasty habits; after all, he doesn’t know any better. So in a class where there is a lot of stuffing and typing with pens, and where the teacher (Martijn Hillenius) is perhaps the most annoying of all, he quietly does his tasks. It’s not much better at home. His mother (Ilse Warringa) always does everything exactly according to the rules, his father talks to dolls and his brother makes up raps that don’t rhyme. One day, the Prime Minister of the country (Stefan Stasse) comes to the island to open the newly constructed bridge. Never before have people ‘from outside’ come to the island. Shortly after his visit, the Prime Minister begins to behave strangely. His head of security Mrs De Wit (Leny Breederveld) draws her conclusions: he is infected. She sends researchers Boudewijn (Jacob Derwig) and Frank (Sadettin Kirmiziyuz) with their daughter Aafje (Ivy Ribbens) to investigate. Hunter and Aafje become friends and as a result the boy discovers that he is the only one who does not seem susceptible to the ‘irritant disease’. But the contagious disease seems to be spreading further with the arrival of the bridge and Mrs. De Wit takes drastic measures to prevent this. It’s up to Hunter and Aafje to lift Amarantha’s curse before it’s too late. But Aafje and her two fathers are also not resistant to the virus.

Does the story sound absurd? It is. But a lot is allowed in children’s films. The Kamps brothers have a valid explanation for the fact that Hunter is the only one not susceptible to the virus: he is hard of hearing, so he cannot hear certain tones. ‘The Annoying Island’ is imaginative and absurd, and is packed with colorful characters. Of course they are larger than life, but that is of course the film itself, no matter how average the islanders may look at first glance. The style of filming – with a sort of tilt shift lens – creates an extra alienating effect. Other special effects, especially those in the projection of the witch Amarantha above the water, are less convincing. ‘The Annoying Island’ is original and entertaining and certainly for the youth there is plenty to laugh about. In our opinion, Tim and Wart Kamps should also try a film script aimed at an adult audience.

Comments are closed.