Bloody Marie

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30th October 2019

A Drunken Drama

Don’t you just hate being lied to? Personally speaking, lying is one of the worst things you can do to another human being, it’s just awful. When a film lies to you, well that’s just not on.

Bloody Marie was described to me as a “hardcore action-drama” by Uncork’d who are representing the Dutch film in the USA. Watch the trailer and it portrays the movie as an action-thriller-esq movie, heck, even the title suggests it’s an action movie. I’m sorry to say it isn’t.

Now, this isn’t to say that Bloody Marie is a bad film, but, when you’re expecting a rollercoaster, action movie with thrills, spills, blood and who knows what, and what you get is a drama. Well, it spoils the movie from the get-go. This isn’t what you went in for, this isn’t what you believed you were watching.

Bloody Marie is primarily a drama, with a couple of action scenes thrown into the mix. The premise sounds like it could be an action movie though:

Marie Wankelmut, Susanne Wolff (“The Three Musketeers”, “Styx”), is a graphic novelist living in Amsterdam’s red-light district. Her graphic novel Porno For The Blind was hugely successful, but that was six years ago, and now Marie sits at her easel staring at blank paper. She also drinks, a lot.

Her neighbours are pimps, and the women associated with that. When she meets her neighbour, she’s asking to buy a sip of his drink, he gives her the rest of the bottle in exchange for her shoes. When she sees these shoes in his window a few days later, she decides to take them back.

After clambering all over her roof to reach his window, it’s not her shoes she takes, but money that she sees, over 2,000 Euro. This, as you can imagine, doesn’t go down well and he begins accusing one of the girls of taking it. Marie can hear everything through the paper-thin walls.

When she inadvertently ends up getting dragged into the whole mess, she has to think fast, and sober up, in order to save herself from an unhappy ending.

So, sure, there are some action scenes, two that I can remember, possibly a third. These are good, there’s a dark humour to them as this permanently inebriated woman managers, by sheer luck, to defeat her enemies.

Writers and directors Lenner Hillege and Guido van Driel (“Mosaic (Short)”, “Chauffeur (Short)”) keep things simple as far as camera work goes. The writing is nice, there are some nice pay-offs and good ‘inspirational’ dialogue from some of the characters.

Do you get a sense of the seedy underworld the movie is set in? No, not really. Do you ever feel that Marie is in major trouble, fighting for her life? Again, not really, even when attacked there’s always a sense she’s just going to get through it, infuriatingly slowly and painfully, but she will get there, and not just because she’s the protagonist.

Bloody Marie is a slow-burn, light-action drama that seems torn about where exactly it sits. It doesn’t seem to know if it should go all out on the action front or stick with the drama and so attempts to do both but doesn’t quite meld the two in a way that pleases both parties.

It’s a great performance from Wolff, but this alone is not enough to catapult Bloody Marie to the giddy heights you feel it could have been. Anyone looking for a “hardcore action-drama” might be best to watch Revenge.

Marie Wankelmut, once successful comic artist, lives among the prostitutes in Amsterdam's Red Light District. Nowadays drunken and bold, she gets into one conflict after another.

1st November 2019

Lennert Hillege, Guido van Driel

Lennert Hillege, Guido van Driel

Running Time:
1h 27min

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