Friday, February 5, 2016

703. De vierde man

De vierde man
The Fourth Man
Directed by Paul Verhoeven

I can't make head or tails of this film, so excuse me if this review is all over the place.  I suppose part of the blame lies with my subtitles, which were incomprehensible sometimes.  I feel like I always pointing the finger there when I don't understand something, but this time they really didn't make sense sometimes! Unless Gerard actually described Christine's body as "kind" when she undressed.

Gerard is a novelist who gives a lecture at a literary society.  He is seduced by the society's treasurer Christine but becomes more interested in her boyfriend Herman.  Throughout the film, Gerard is haunted by premonitions that tell him Christine has an unhealthy habit of murdering her lovers/husbands.

The Book describes Gerard as a "closeted homosexual" but every other source I have found describes him as bisexual.  I suppose I shouldn't get so caught up in labels, but I couldn't understand why any of the characters were acting the way they were.  Why did Gerard stay with Christine so long?  He clearly wasn't in love with her or even that interested in her sexually.  Perhaps to protect Herman?  I guess, but somehow that doesn't fit.

Verhoeven overwhelms us with Christian symbolism, which I read he only did to please critics.  The images were certainly disturbing, but came across as silly sometimes, like when he has the vision about the lion.

I feel like I should revisit and reexamine this film at a later date, but I can't help thinking there isn't as much to this one as the filmmakers want us to believe.  I suppose Verhoeven improves on this with Basic Instinct, but I didn't find that movie too impressive either.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

The scene where Gerard wakes up twice is borrowed from An American Werewolf in London.


  1. Well, probably you don't even remember this one by this point. However, I feel compelled to answer your questions. I think Gerard stay with Christine just to get access to Herman. He uses that ridiculous story about his psychic powers to lure her into calling him. I think also that the only reason she fell for it, it's because she was actually the one calling the shots there. But that's only my impression.

    1. Well I appreciate you answering my questions just the same!