Nick Scott muses on the relative comedic ability of the French and the Belgians as he reviews “The Mystery of Henri Pick”.
The French are known to be good at comedy movies, the Italians, drama. So What about the Belgians? I was thinking this when I got a ticket for The Mystery of Henri Pick, made in Belgium.
The film begins with the discovery of a rejected manuscript that is recognised as being a classic and then follows the hunt for the author, Mr Henri Pick.
The interesting part is that no one seems to know who he is or whether he exists. The idea in the Matrix, that we are all the invention of some other being came to mind when it was suggested that Mr Pick the author may have been the invention of another author.
So what makes a person real? This may be a bit too philosophical but it did occur to me, maybe because I took a philosophy paper at university.
The acting is not great but does not need to be great, the ideas and script carry it through.
The camera work is very clever. Certain shots reflect the changes in the central ideas. A car crossing a long bridge is used when ideas in the hunt for Mr Pick have become clear. This shot is an open, wide shot and represents clarity. The reverse kind of shot which is crowded and claustrophobic represents a twisting of the plot into forms that the characters do not expect. The plot does have twists and turns so the viewer needs to stay alert.
The main character is well played and brings clarity to a story which can be confusing. The result of the film is an achievement for the characters and the viewer. It is not often that movies with this level of intelligence and originality come along. So, if any movies from Belgium come along then try them out, I will.
Nick Scott Nick Scott has a B.A from The University of Waikato where he studied film under Sam Edwards. Nick has retained a keen interest in cinema. He studied Te Reo Maori at Te Wananga O Aotearoa part-time for 3 years and then from 2014 to 2016 Nick collaborated in writing “The Traveller’s guide to Maori Place Names”. Nick is a regular Film Reviewer on ARTbop.
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