Hillege and van Driel, who also wrote the feature, display real empathy for their central heroine, as well as a “go-for-broke” mentality that works in their favor. The languid drama of the film’s first half serves as a fuse that explodes in its second. Bloody Marie’s success ultimately rests on Susanne Wolff’s shoulders, and she handles the tricky role with aplomb, gradually transforming from a given-up victim to a confident woman who, prompted by a jarring event, may have rediscovered her passion.
“…a finale involving a fiery crotch and perhaps one of the most inventive ‘disposal of a body’ sequences I’ve seen in recent memory.”
Sure, some plot threads may be left unresolved, some things unexplained. How does Marie know the exact location of Dragomir’s window? How is she having trouble getting booze in Amsterdam, of all places? Her mother’s influence isn’t fully explored, nor is her background for that matter. These are all small gripes, by the way, that did not affect my enjoyment of this unique feature. I took them at face value: we see the world as Marie does, fragmented and nonsensical. From a technical standpoint, the film’s a (low-budget) marvel, all neon-crimson, vivid depictions of one this world’s most beautiful (and, yes, seediest) cities.
A cautionary tale, a story of salvation, sad, lyrical, funny and even brutal at times, Bloody Marie is a shot of adrenaline in a landscape filled with cinematic clones. It may not be perfect, or for everyone, but it sure is spicy as hell, and it gets most of the ingredients just right.
"…How is she having trouble getting booze in Amsterdam, of all places?"