A Dutch movie about the history of naval hero Michiel de Ruyter… Normally I’m not a big fan of movies made in my home country, but this one is an exception! I loved the look and feel of it, the sets and costumes. What’s more, I was blown away by the performance of the actors. So here are 10 reasons to go and see this Dutch cinematic jewel, whether you’re Dutch or not!
Explosions and flying sailors
Director Roel Reiné gained action movie experience in Hollywood and it shows! Explosions, slow motion shots and sailors flying through the screen, left, right and centre. I don’t care if the action in Michiel de Ruyter is over the top, I’m loving it!
Hajo Bruins as Cornelis Tromp
I’m not sure if it was the gorgeous grey hairdo, the little beard or the sulky looking facial expression, but I might have fallen in love with actor Hajo Bruins. I was cheering inwardly every time the man was on screen.
Costumes and sets
The 17th century costumes looked fantastic. Ladies, take notice of Barry Atsma looking rather suave as the intelligent Johan de Witt. The sets were beautiful and I didn’t see anything remotely modern in sight. (No Jumbo supermarkets, much to the joy or chagrin of lead actor Frank Lammers!) The crew did a great job of giving every set a 17th century look and feel to it.
Egbert Jan Weeber as Willem III
Actor Egbert Jan Weeber seemed to have a great time on set, playing the effeminate Willem III. One of the best actors in the movie, as far as I’m concerned. Loved the long, curly wig and the womanly walk!
Incredible visual effects
Applause for the visual effects people, who did an awesome job with the battles at sea. Being on one of the ships back then must have been frightening!
Roeland Fernhout as Cornelis de Witt
I only knew him as a presenter of the 2007 Dutch TV show ‘From Alaska With Love…had no idea the man was such a good actor! Especially during the cruel and tragic death scene, I was impressed with Roeland’s acting skills. Looking forward to seeing more of him in future movies.
Three hundred years ago people probably didn’t talk the way they do in the movie, but for cinematic purposes it’s probably for the best. If the actors had to speak old Dutch, it would distract from the story and the action. Although they did use a few accurate 17th century naval terms during the battles at sea.
Actor Frank Lammers just seems to radiate ‘nonchalance’ and that’s what makes him so fun to watch. A typically down to earth Dutch man, who did a great job of playing Michiel de Ruyter. Although I wished he had borrowed Egbert Jan Weeber’s wig… better styled and more fashionable…
I’m not really patriotic, but it was funny to see Dutch flags shown in such a heroic manner… the sort of shots we’re used from Hollywood movies and their star spangled banner. Almost made me proud to be Dutch!
Not completely historically correct
For cinematic purposes the movie isn’t completely historically correct. After all, Michiel de Ruyter wasn’t meant to be an accurate documentary. It’s entertainment based on factual Dutch history, sprinkled with a touch of artistic freedom. And I loved every minute of it!