Friday, October 4, 2013

Het Vonnis

Het Vonnis by Jan Verheyen

Last night I accompanied my Jan Verheyen-crazed sister Margot to the premiere of her idol's latest prize-winning film, Het Vonnis/The Verdict. It was really cool to attend a red carpet event, and I was also very excited to see the film -- I had deliberately not sought out any reviews or trailers, so I did not really know what I was getting into.

When stand-up citizen Luc Segers (Koen De Bouw) brutally loses his wife Ella (Joke Devynck) and daughter during a handbag snatch murder, and the murderer Kenny De Groot (Hendrik Aerts) is released due to a procedural error, Luc takes law into his own hands and kills his wife's murderer. Instead of being charged with manslaughter, Luc and lawyer Jan De Kock (Johan Leysen) opt for a public trial circus in an attempt to take down the faulted justice system.

I have a hunch that the powerful central theme of Law vs. Justice will become a popular topic of discussion over the next few weeks. The maddening reality of procedural errors, razor-sharp dialogues, somber atmosphere, and cream of the crop cast that includes Dossier K. stars De Bouw and Claes & 2013 Tribeca Film Festival Best Actress Veerle Baetens make for a compelling and horrific courtroom drama.

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