After Black Book (2006) movie lovers had to wait a while for the next Paul Verhoeven movie. Two years ago he decided to take part in the “Ziggo Entertainment Experience”, a new concept and a new way of making movies, which he hadn’t done before. The idea behind this “Experience” was that only the first five pages of the script would be written by a professional script writer, in this case Kim van Kooten. Those pages would be made available, after which it was up to the “crowd” (or “users”) to write the rest of the script, come up with new ideas, make the music, promote the concept or simply vote on the ideas of others. Ziggo (a Dutch cable company) created an online platform which would make this possible and make it available to anyone. The movie was made in 8 episodes, which means time was needed between each episode to decide what the script would be. Has Paul Verhoeven, by using this new concept, succeeded in making a movie worth watching?
Because the movie is relatively short, the decision was made to add a documentary about the making of the movie which is shown before the movie starts. It succeeds in giving an idea of the difficulties Verhoeven ran into while making it and how things on the set were done. It’s very interesting subject matter, but if you are not a fan of spoilers, it does spoil a couple of moments of the movie, which takes away some surprises.
The movie itself tells the story of Remco (Peter Blok), who is running a successfull company with two business partners. He’s married with Ineke (Ricky Koole) and has two children. It seems that everything is perfect, but he is a womaniser. During the celebration of his 50th birtday his former mistress arrives unexpectedly. When it becomes clear she is pregnant the troubles start for Remco. Unfortunately it is only the beginning.
The various characters are quickly introduced and the story manages to maintain that speed. There isn’t a moment where you get the feeling you are watching episodes which were pasted together. It feels like a proper movie in which details you see in the beginning are picked up later, making it a cohesive movie. As this is a Dutch movie it isn’t surprising it has some sex and nudity in it and the way the relationships are shown is not something everyone will be able to appreciate. But they are a big part of making this movie work as you have no idea who you’ll be able to trust. You will have no idea where the story will go next.
Tricked isn’t a movie which only depicts drama. The situation Remco is in, is a stressful one, but the movie also has humour in it. Robert de Hoog, who plays the son, Tobias, has the funniest moments. The humour gives the movie a certain lightness and makes it so enjoyable to watch. The cast is convincing and are able make the complexity of what is going on believable. With Tricked, Paul Verhoeven has proved, by doing something new and unknown, that it is possible to create an entertaining movie with the use of user generated content.