De Helaasheid der Dingen (The Misfortunates) Reviews
It is, nevertheless, better than watching a coming-of-age story being delivered by the exact same approach/tone one after another, again & again.
Forced to write lines at school because he has gotten into trouble, Guntherâ(TM)s writing improves and becomes a way for him to express himself. Eventually, after he is expelled from one school and a social worker visits his home, he decides to enter boarding school. The writing evolves in step with technology: a younger Gunther writes on notepaper at first and advances to a typewriter and later a computer when he is in his twenties trying to publish his first novel. The older Gunther narrates the film and although he made some typical Strobbe mistakes, he is his own man and consequently happy and successful.
Transit is a motif throughout the film. As Gunther thinks about moving his life forward, he is on a train or there is one passing by that can be seen through a window. The constant motion of the train mirrors what is happening in Guntherâ(TM)s life. He is luckily able to move on from a youth vomiting by the train tracks during a beer drinking contest won by one of his uncles to a studious young adult looking forward to return to school after a weekend.
The Strobbe brothers often participated in naked bicycle races but Gunther becomes focused and wins a cross-country race -- although his father who entered him in the race could not attend because he had been drinking and playing billiards the night before.
The Misfortunates is absurdly comical at times although I hope that the creators of South Park never see this film. There are some shocking moments that I do not want to revisit. There is a serious message to the entire film (perhaps clichÃ (C)d but I did not feel that this was a problem) which is delivered by showcasing a series of crude and bizarre incidents. Sadly, people really live this was and although it may be laughable at times it is incredibly tragic. The Strobbes may be an extreme example but there are many people fighting misfortunate, especially youth, who need help.