DVD Het Diner

DVD Het Diner
DVD Het Diner
Run time: 88 min
Rating: 6.2
Genres: Drama | Thriller
Director: Menno Meyjes
Writers: Herman Koch, Menno Meyjes
Stars: Thekla Reuten, Kim van Kooten, Daan Schuurmans
Paul and Claire are a couple. Paul is a failed history teacher who has put his heart and soul into his family and is now confronted with the vulnerability of this happiness. His wife Claire constantly drags him away from the edge and stops at nothing to protect her family. His brother Serge is married to Babette. Serge is a politician in the running to become Prime Minister. Babette is the lioness, supposed to be sleeping by his side. At a family dinner the avoid everything they actually need to discuss: a huge family drama. The Dinner puts everyone on edge. How far would you go when it comes to your family and your future? Written by Anonymous
Plot Keywords: dinner, history teacher, prime minister, father son relationship, waiter
Country: Netherlands
Release Date: 7 November 2013 (Netherlands)


  1. As someone who doesn't think highly of Dutch films in general, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Since I hadn't read the novel beforehand, I went in with zero expectations, which, gathering from other reviews I've read, may have saved this film from being a disappointment.

    The premise of the film is very simple. Paul is a retired history teacher who has arranged with his brother Serge and their wives to meet at a restaurant, to talk through some delicate family matters. As the film progresses and the severity of the matter discussed is revealed to the viewer, things start to escalate.

    It's interesting to see how the four participants in the discussion each have a different take on what's about to happen, while the contrast between the cynical Paul and the diplomatic Serge is another source of tension. This tension is captured very well and the twists and turns of the discussion are nicely accentuated by the cinematography, while flashbacks give more insight in the family problems.

    While this makes for a very big plus, the film does lack some substance, story-wise. A more thoroughly worked-out story could have made for a more immersive experience, while right now the film is carried by the dynamics of its characters.

    All in all this film is psychologically very interesting and presented plausibly. With the dysfunctional relationship between characters, the strained and heated debate at the dinner table and the incidents that ignited it all, there is much in this film to think over. Even though the plot somewhat loses its punch by the end, if you like films that are engaging and tense, I'd recommend watching this.

  2. I've read the novel a couple of months ago and watched the movie today. I have to admit I like the novel a bit more than the movie. Personally I find the two male characters playing Paul's and Serge's role not believable, while the rest of the actors totally fit their role. I've expected a much stronger, not easily embarrassed, very confident older person to play Serge and a more sarcastic, but also an utterly confident version of Paul. I've found them both very feminine and weak in many ways. The story made a twist in my stomach again. Although I was aware what to expect from the novel I again had a moment where I almost shouted out loud because of my frustration. I closed my eyes twice during the movie and took a second to think about what I would do in a similar situation, I tried to imagine myself as the parents, I tried to grasp their views, but I couldn't find one single cell in me that would agree on their viewpoints. And the final answer I came up with was the same as I got while reading the novel. But maybe the problem lies within me. Who knows…Of course this is just a story, but with a very disturbing subject. The subject how far someone would go to save their own flesh and blood. The story of Het Diner does not teach us nothing at all. Does not provide an ideal, doesn't teach us values nor morality.

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