Starring: Kevin Janssens, Jemaine Clement, Pierre Bokma, Hannah Hoekstra, Josse De Pauw
Congratulations if you had offbeat Flemish comedy drama set in a nudist colony from the ‘Peaky Blinders’ director on your 2020 movie release card.
Patrick (Janssens) is the mentally underdeveloped thirtysomething handyman son of Rudy (De Pauw), the owner of a nudist camping site situated in the Ardennes region. The campsite is mostly populated by bickering regulars, along with the odd first-timer, such as the newly-arrived, Dustin Apollo (Clement, fully clothed) a preposterous, vain rock star happy to hand out unsolicited advice to the oblivious Patrick. When his father suddenly passes away, Patrick’s grief seems to finds an outlet when he discovers his favourite hammer has been stolen, and he tramps around the site obsessively grilling the guests on its whereabouts. Meanwhile long-time resident Herman (Bokma), whose wife Patrick has been having sex with, is trying to stage a coup.
Director Mielants juggles the dark comedy and revenge drama elements skilfully enough to overcome the slightly self-consciously whacky feel, while Belgian heartthrob actor Janssens, sporting an unflattering bowl haircut and clad only in a workers apron, turns in a vanity-free and committed, if necessarily one-note, performance. Cinemaphotographer Frank van den Eeden’s impressively eclectic deployment of colour ranges from the warm rustic browns of the campsite to deep red to convey the protagonist’s troubled mental condition. The nudity is presented in such a matter-of-fact and unvarnished way that viewers will quickly acclimatise.
Patrick is available to stream from 20th November
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