Uncovering Curiosities: Paul Verhoeven’s BLACK BOOK
After the mixed reaction to his science fiction thriller, Hollow Man in 2000, director Dutch director Paul Verhoeven turned his back on Hollywood and returned to Europe to make Black Book in 2006. The controversial auteur co-wrote the film with frequent collaborator, Gerard Soeteman
This WWII thriller is a wonderfully executed piece, which sees future Game Of Thrones star Carice van Houten playing a Jewish singer who goes undercover to help the Dutch Resistance. Van Houten is excellent as the conflicted heroine and Verhoeven manages to bring a few Hollywood-style tricks to make this Euro-thriller feel rather epic (despite a rather modest budget).
If there’s a flaw to Black Book, it’s the the bookends at either side of the main narrative. They aren’t really necessary and they just add a sugary coating to the film – which makes Black Book feel very un-Verhoeven.