Directed by: #BastiaanRook
Doorslag was directed by Bastiann Rook and it tells the story of two brothers, Mike (Bjorne Willemsen) and Eddie (Torsten Colijn), who, despite their shared upbringing, now live very different lives. Mike is a successful man whilst Eddie is the “black sheep”. However, Eddie has a family, a wife, Irma (Janine Krol), and a son, Jordy (Luca Romagnoli), who suffers from nightmares and asks Eddie to always check the closet for monsters. In a painful reality check, Jordy realises that monsters are real but they live inside us and not in our closets, as he sees his dad beating up his mum.
All this back-story is presented in form of dialogue between the two brothers when Mike goes to Eddie’s house to make sure he is all right, after receiving a message from Irma pleading him to go and check on his little brother. Irma and Eddie are divorcing and Eddie is not coping well.
The two brothers are brought back together and they need to sort out their differences. Eddie has found out Irma and Mike have been having an affair and he seeks revenge, however, his vengeance is not as straightforward as one might think. And Mike, in desperate need to protect himself, takes matters into his own hand, without realising he is becoming the monster that Eddie was. The two brothers trade places, or rather they both take on the role of the monster, posing the questions of who are the monsters and what makes a monster?
The film is incredibly gripping – Doorslag is a gut-wrenching family drama that, through dialogue, gives us an insight of the brothers’ past and current lives. The two brothers could not be any more different, but somehow they make the same mistakes. They are both human and both monsters, at the same time. At the end, Mike sobs when saying he is not a monster whilst he loses his humanity – he cannot comprehend how his life has shifted in so little time. His actions are spellbound by a domino effect, one simple action sets the rest in motion and he cannot stop it.
Both Colijn and Willemsen give strong and emotional performances. Colijn as the deadbeat brother, borderline alcoholic with violence problems, and who has absolutely nothing to lose – which makes him even more powerful. And Willemsen as the hero who falls into a patter he cannot escape, almost as Rodion Românovitch Raskólnikov in Dostoiéviski’s “Crime and Punishment”, the spectator almost feels sorry for him as he dugs his own grave.
Rook has made all the right decisions when directing Doorslag – it is incredibly captivating and he was able to explore human nature in its worst only through dialogue between the brothers in a living room. The camera angles combined with the performance of the actors, especially Colijn’s, give us the feeling of watching a thriller when we are given a well-scripted family melodrama.