Monday, May 07, 2007

Moonlight: Grade B


Moonlight (2002)

Laurien Van den Broeck, Hunter Bussemaker Director Paula van der Oest. (Netherlands, mostly in English, no subtitles).

This older film just popped up at my video store, or maybe I just happened to find it. A young Middle-Eastern boy is a drug mule in The Netherlands. The bad guys shoot him and leave him for dead (for no obvious reason), but he survives and finds his way to a wooden shed, where the young girl (Van den Broeck), discovers him bleeding to death and tends him back to relative health, without telling her fabulously wealthy parents. These kids are portrayed as about 10 years old. The children communicate mostly by gesture, signs, charades, and intuition. In fact there is remarkably little dialog in this movie and it would have been a fine achievement to do the whole thing without any. The bad guys pursue the boy, so the two kids run away (it is not clear why she does not just tell her parents). They hitchhike, stowaway in a truck and end up in a city in Belgium. The scenery and photography are good. But then the charming buddy movie collapses. The kids spontaneously start smoking, drinking, snorting cocaine, and having sex. It could happen, I guess, but that’s not the movie I was watching for the first hour. The ending is contrived and predictable, but overall, the European sensibility, the economy of dialog, and good acting by the girl, make this watchable.

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