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Review: Wolf (2013)

Directed by: Jim Taihuttu | 120 minutes | drama, crime, thriller | Actors: Marwan Kenzari, Raymond Thiry, Nasrdin Dchar, Bo Maerten, Cahit Ölmez, Chems Eddine Amar, Slimane Dazi, Mohammed El Mimouni, Baya Belal, Abdelkrim Bahloul, Jacob Derwig, Ismael Tarhabi, Aziz Akazim, Saïd Mbarki, Werner Kolf, Mustafa Duygulu, Fouad Mourigh, Roderick Bredenoord, Tobias Nierop, Steef Cuijpers, Rosana van der Wagt, Marco Pique, Bob Schreiber, Lodi Brakes, Glen Huisman, Steve Poort, Rutger Raateland, Pepijn van Halderen, Hilbert Dijkstra, Mirjam Hegger, Leon Voorberg, Uzi Ozturk, Mohammed Azaay, Mourade Zeguendi, Monir Ait Hamou, Zouzou Ben Chikha, Hikmet Ulger, Vincent Linthorst, Dennis Rudge, Dogu Aybogan, Tatyana Lobanova, Haluk Cömert, Suat Demir, Yilmaz Demir, Thor, Huub Smit, Mike Reus, Michael Boy, Edward Strijkert

Anyone who says that the crime depicted in crime films is fake, over the top or trite will scratch their heads after seeing “Wolf”. After the critically acclaimed feature début “Rabat”, director and screenwriter Jim Taihuttu – this time without companion Victor Ponten – shows the true nature of life on the Dutch streets. The raw crime drama “Wolf” shows with impressive black and white images the colorless existence of underprivileged young people in disadvantaged neighborhoods in the Netherlands.

Majid (Marwan Kenzari), who excels at making wrong choices, is a Moroccan boy in his early twenties. On the street he tries to earn some extra money by doing petty robberies and burglaries. His kickboxing talent could offer him a way out of this hopeless criminal existence. However, this is easier said than done due to various bad friends and the urge for the quick money. Kenzari impressively performs the role that symbolizes many young people who live according to the laws of the street. The hopeless future prospects for these young people in particular are poignant and are subtly presented to the viewer. In combination with the beautiful compositions of the gray city, this makes for a particularly successful film.

That Jim Taihuttu shows a different part of society with his new than in “Rabat” is clear from minute one. “Wolf” is in many ways the opposite of its predecessor. From a colorful, cheerful story about friendship, a dark and gloomy depiction of the harsh street life in the outskirts of cities is made. This uncensored image of the young owes its beauty to its extraordinarily realistic depiction. The dialogue, events and problems feel very unadulterated and honest. It is therefore clever that a social issue is charted in such a striking way. “Wolf” may not directly contribute to a solution to the problems of this criminal youth, but it can help provide a better understanding of this type of crime.

“Wolf” shows in a catchy way how a new, hard type of crime is taking over the streets. By combining this with beautiful shots and good acting, a is created that is very worthwhile. An eye-opener who knows how to captivate from start to finish.

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