A prank by a couple of rich kids and their socially inferior playmate leads to murder in "Blood Brothers," a surprisingly uncompelling drama, based on a true story, from freshman helmer Arno Dierickx.

A prank by a couple of rich kids and their socially inferior playmate leads to murder in “Blood Brothers,” a surprisingly uncompelling drama, based on a true story, from freshman helmer Arno Dierickx. Though the 1960s setting is superficially pretty, Dierickx never delves below the surface of either his locale or his protags, offering up a standard-issue tale lacking in necessary psychological probing. Pic’s anemic heart means circulation will be limited to Euro TV.

Everything’s attractive at the van Riebeeck manse, including brothers Arnout (Matthijs van de Sande Bakhuyzen) and Victor (Derk Stenvers). Ace student Simon (Erik van Heijningen), from the other side of the tracks, thinks he’s managed to erase class barriers when the family accepts him as a summer diversion, though auds know better. When white trash petty thief Ronnie (Sander van Amsterdam) gets into mischief, the three hide him in the attic, but as weeks pass the game is no longer fun and the friends have to decide what to do with the troublesome toughie. Unfortunately, Dierickx sticks to stereotypes, though visuals have a coolly attractive air. Game young cast can’t rise above the material.

Blood Brothers

Netherlands

Production

An Inspire Pictures release (in Netherlands) of a Rinkel Film & TV Prods., AVRO, Zoo Pictures production. (International sales: Nonstop Sales, Stockholm, Sweden.) Produced by Reinier Selen, Edwin van Meurs. Executive producer, Monique van Welzen. Co-producers, Justine Paauw, Ruud van der Heyde, Jacqueline de Goeij. Directed by Arno Dierickx. Screenplay, Jan Bernard Bussemaker, Bert Bouma.

Crew

Camera (color, Super 16mm-to-35mm), Renaat Lambeets; editor, Wouter Jansen; music, Johan Hoogewijs; production designer, Vincent de Pater; costume designer, Margriet Procee. Reviewed at San Sebastian Film Festival (Zabaltegi), Sept. 20, 2008. Running time: 98 MIN.

With

Erik van Heijningen, Matthijs van de Sande Bakhuyzen, Sander van Amsterdam, Derk Stenvers, Pierre Bokma, Betty Schuurman, Carolien Spoor, Dimme Treurniet, Marthe-Geke Bracht, Bert Geurkink.

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