Screened as part of NZIFF 2014
The first Dutch film in competition at Cannes in 40 years, this uncomfortable domestic thriller channels the psychological observations of Michael Haneke and the class preoccupations of Harold Pinter with sardonic, and frequently hilarious, results. Awakening from a nap, greasy-haired 40-something ne’er-do-well Camiel Borgman emerges from his underground forest lair to escape a manhunt led by a well-armed priest. On the lam, Borgman and his earthy associates retreat into safe suburbia. When Borgman arrives on the doorstep of wealthy couple Maria and Richard and asks for a bath, his request is declined. This refusal initiates a deadly game between Borgman, his associates and the affluent family. The first murder that occurs sets off a succession of moral pretzels that twist this seemingly perfect family to pieces. Welcome to the adult fable world of director Alex van Warmerdam, where the whimsical and the sinister so elegantly embrace. Slick, sophisticated, supernaturally seductive and boasting pitch-perfect performances, Borgman is a delirious Dutch addition to the home-invasion genre.