14 November 2013 | bartverberne16
Metaphysical absurdism in a grippingly tense film
'Borgman' tells the story of a drifter (Jan Bijvoet) that slowly but suddenly takes control of the lives of a young, wealthy family living in a beautiful mansion somewhere in the Netherlands. The movie begins with a scene in a forest, where Borgman, i.e. the drifter, and some of his associates are chased from their underground hiding places by a group of holy workers (lead by the-always-inspiring Pierre Bokma). Soon after their escape, Borgman alone seemingly randomly knocks on the doors of the houses of very wealthy people, asking if he can use bathing facilities in their house. In attempt to do good after a brutal beating by her husband (Jeroen Perceval), Marina (Hadewijch Minis) helps Borgman by giving him temporary shelter in the garden shed. That was all that the intimidating but darkly intriguing character of Borgman needed to unfold his diabolical plans...
Although Borgman is a layered surrealistic film, and probably therefore sometimes slow and hard to understand, its message is clear and the story is continuously compelling. Especially intriguing are the biblical aspects, which are always subtly present in the background, and which give the film a dark, tense character. Not being a religious person, the movie does trigger an interest in the spiritual, or better, meta-ethics, which won't leave you alone for several days afyer having watched it. The excellent performances of Jan Bijvoet and Hadewijch Minis are crucial in delivering the very strong script.
I highly recommend this film to anyone who seeks a tense thriller. Because, aside from the absurdist aspects, from start to the end the movie is very exciting.