Review: The Conviction (2021)

The Conviction (2021)

Directed by: Sander Burger | 130 minutes | thriller, drama, crime | Actors: Fedja van Huêt, Yorick van Wageningen, Lies Visschedijk, Mark Kraan, George Tobal, Porgy Franssen, Marike Mingelen, Bart Klever, Leon Voorberg, Ortál Vriend, Jasper van Overbruggen, Pauline Greidanus, Ad Knippels, Huub Smit, Mads Wittermans, Astrid van Eck, Reinier Bulder, Carmen van Mulier, Rogier Schippers, Remco Melles, Janni Goslinga, Mieneke Bakker, Daan Aufenacker, Delphin Metsers, Jan Sebastian van Setten

The Ernst Louwes case involving the death of the widow Wittenberg, also known as the Deventer Murder Case, has occupied the Netherlands for years. Not least because of the complex circumstances. It is a case in which media influence and a poorly functioning judicial system emerge as anchor points.

The involvement of Maurice de Hond in the case, in the service of the evidence, can somewhat be compared to that of the late Peter R. de Vries, were it not for the fact that the latest cold cases and miscarriages of justice are more convincingly a pendulum in the right direction. gave. De Hond only occasionally portrays a wrong track.

We have to be careful. There has been a conviction; Ernst Louwes served eight years on the basis of circumstantial evidence: his DNA was found, among other things, on the blouse that the widow was wearing when she died. The images of the bookkeeper physically resisting the verdict are still on everyone’s mind. De Hond spoke of forged evidence.

The influential pollster led the media to a second suspect: the ‘handyman’; journalist Bas Haan (Network/Nova/Nieuwsuur) investigated and wrote a book about it. Haan (Van Huêt) is the main character in Sander Burger’s ‘The Conviction’. The solid drama has a strong reality character, with a recap of the emotional highlights as the beginning.

Louwes (played by Kraan with typical facial expressions) comes into the picture especially in this phase, as an introverted, somewhat scruffy man. It is not easy to discern the makers’ sympathies for the widow’s tax adviser. There are stronger, more supportive roles for Van Wageningen and Visschedijk, as handyman Michaël de Jong and his resolute girlfriend Meike.

The film does not develop differently than expected, based on the facts. At times boring, then dramatically expanding like a whodunit, we have to wait for a new perspective. That won’t happen. Haan does not want to let the Louwes case rest, and debunks the De Hond track (only in the picture as a cameo). Interesting, but as a dramatic focal point Haan does not suffice, although he is interpreted appropriately.

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