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Sonny Boy (2011)

inter-racial love
Winsome inter-racial couple, Rika (Ricky Koole) and Waldemar (Sergio Hasselbaink).

At a glance:
Proudly Dutch and therefore chosen as its official 2012 Oscars submission for Best Foreign Language Pic and also for European Union Film Festival screenings across the globe, Maria Peters' lavish Sonny Boy (2011) is an $8 mil inter-racial love story set against a Holocaust backdrop, with plenty of period detail and afternoon TV melodrama. It's based on a true story about a Surinam scholar and swimmer who knocked up a married white Dutch lady 17 years his senior. Title is in reference to the old crooner's song and subsequently the name of the lovechild borne out of their difficult but passionate union.
Bad news on the doorstep:
Nevermind the over-saturated colours of what I believe to be a poor DVD transfer being played at The Royal, this old-fashioned romance epic benefits firstly from a handsome inter-racial couple, Rika (Ricky Koole) and Waldemar (Sergio Hasselbaink), who command good onscreen chemistry. I remember all too well the last time I saw an unconvincin inter-racial pairin was also at the European Union Film Festival, albeit the 2010 Malaysian edition at GSC. It was For All Eternity (2002) where a Chinese man had zero chemistry with the Austrian female lead. Anyway, back to Sonny Boy, the movie is largely uneven and tried to do too much, payin dues to too many lesser characters and effectively takin the momentum out of the picture. Most of the emotional hooks unfortunately came across as rather underwhelmin, I suspect due to the unimaginative music score. What happened to that powerful, epic-soundin score from the trailer? Anyway, in doin justice to Annejet van der Zijl's novel from which it's adapted, I feel more intense camerawork and a shorter edit would've done the trick.
Perennial wonderment:
"Have you ever drank soymilk out of a chocolate straw?"
Who is Ricky Koole? She has enormous presence and a classy, thoughtful disposition. Hope to see her in a big Hollywood picture someday?
Reminds me of:
A Beautiful Life (1997) with an inter-racial twist, like in For All Eternity (2002).
Most memorable line:
"There are two things a plant needs to grow. Sun and water. These are our rainy days."
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
I believe I might be prejudiced by a poor viewin experience. Nevertheless it's a movie with its heart in the right place. Enjoyed the little bits of humour, too.★★★
Bonus material:
Waldemar Nods, Rika van der Lans and Sonny Boy
I suppose they're the real Waldemar Nods, Rika van der Lans and Sonny Boy
if indeed their real names were used. Looks like a happy family.


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