Ferry (2021) Review

Frank Lammers shines in this gritty prequel to the 'Undercover' series

Rony Patra -

Ferry (2021) Review
Platform
Netflix
Platform Icons Click To Stream
Format
Original Movie Review
Movie Rated
18+
Genre
Crime,DRAMA
Language
Dutch

What is the story about?

In 2006, long before the events of the Undercover series, Ferry Bouman is a petty enforcer working for drug lord Brink in Amsterdam. However, when Brink’s son Mattijs is shot grievously in a robbery at their place, Brink sends Ferry to hunt down the attackers. The accent of the robbers leads Ferry back to Brabant, where he grew up, and brings him in contact with his sister Claudia, who is ailing, and his brother-in-law John. While looking for possible leads, Ferry also strikes up a friendship with Danielle, a resident at the campsite, that soon blossoms into romance. The film looks at how this episode shapes his destiny.

Analysis

Companion films to cult shows are nothing new, and, in that sense, Ferry is not breaking any new ground. Most companion films revel in the wonder of their narrative universes as a service to fans. This film, however, is enjoyable as a stand-alone crime saga, even for people who may not seen the hit Netflix series Undercover. Writers Nico Moolenaar (who also created Undercover) and Bart Uytdenhouwen carry the legacy of the series to this origin story of Ferry Bouman, with the twist that Ferry himself goes undercover as a campsite resident in order to hunt down the people who shot at his boss’ son. There’s enough earnestness in the screenplay, but the film also looks at how, beneath the tough exterior and menacing bursts of violence, Ferry is a human being with his own flaws and insecurities. He loves cocaine, but only as a way to escape memories of his abusive father; he has a strained relationship with Claudia; and in spite of his murderous ways, he looks forward to the few moments of happiness with Danielle, who lets him look at life through a rose-tinted lens. The film constantly shifts between bursts of violence and the love story between Ferry and Danielle, but the way it does is perfectly seamless. Director Cecilia Verheyden invests Ferry with enough time and space for the characters to breathe, and if you’ve watched the original series, this film offers you enough bits to leave you satiated. The only time the film falters is during the final moments, where Ferry’s destiny takes a new course. Overall, though, this film is an enjoyable potboiler.

Performances

Frank Lammers is the star of the show, investing the 2006 version of Ferry Bouman with a warm heart and a sense of conscience, even when he ruthlessly beats up or murders people. Elise Schaap is lovely as Danielle, and the screenplay makes the viewer fall in love with her character. Raymond Thiry is expectedly gruff as John, while Monic Hendrickx shares a couple of strong sequences with Ferry as his ailing sister Claudia. Huub Stapel portrays the dignified, menacing Brink with flair. The rest of the cast is okay.

Music & Other Departments

The production design by Philippe Bertin is terrific, with insane detailing dating back to 2006. For instance, there are no smartphones, so characters send each other SMSes with addresses or tips. Ferry himself uses a Nokia 1100.
 
Menno Mans’ cinematography is decent, with some great shots of Amsterdam and the campsites at Brabant.

Highlights

There are a couple of emotionally-charged sequences that show Ferry’s fraught bond with Claudia, and both Lammers and Hendrickx play their hearts out in these scenes. Also, the love story between Ferry and Danielle is portrayed very tenderly and hilariously, with a terrific scene that involves both dosing on ecstasy.

Drawbacks

Definitely the finale, which feels like a rushed job.

Did I enjoy it?

Yes.

Do I recommend it?

Yes. If you love crime dramas, you can give this a watch, and also check out the original series on Netflix.


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