do you remember a childhood dream? or a song perhaps? some incident that makes you tilt your head to right and smile a soft little smile? can an experience be so charming that it brings those feelings rushing back? i had that experience, a few days ago. watching a Dutch movie titled 'Minoes' brought such a wonderful calm and comfort to my world weary mind that i recommend it for the chronically stressed out amongst us!
this is an attempted review only, but the objective here is to share the feelings generated rather than any analysis of the movie. so, here i go :)
Minoes is a modern day fairytale set in a tiny Dutch town. it is the story of a furry little cat Minoes turned into a charming young woman. it is the story of a young reporter Tibbe struggling to overcome his shyness and present some news to his paper. it is also the story of a sleepy little town with its everybody knows everybody camaraderie, everyday lifelike individuals and of a dominant industrialist, Mr. Ellemeet trying to gain political power to further his capitalist goals.
one night, as one of Mr. Ellemeet's hazardous chemical waste is being transported from the town, which is a hush hush affair as he has to maintain a clean image of being a good industrialist and an animal lover, one of the drums fall off the truck and our heroine, the cat Minoes laps up some stuff from it. the next we see her is as a young woman, dressed in green, with a little briefcase in her hands and hiding up above a tree, scared by a dog. okay, its not us who find her like this, its our hero, the shy young reporter Tibbe who on the other hand has been given a deadline by his editor to submit either a news story by the next day or pack his stuff and leave. the two meet again and a partnership of convenience develops, Minoes with the help of her cat friends will report the news from around the town to Tibbe and he'll allow her to stay at his place till she figures out how to become a cat again. gradually Tibbe becomes famous and the toast of the town, until he decides to expose Mr. Ellemeet's dubious credentials. because our crafty villain has maintained a nice hairstyle and a nicer reputation, no one believes him at first. but with the help of Minoes, her cat squad and his landlady's sprightly daughter Bibi, they manage to pull the plug out of his plans and Tibbe again becomes the hero of the town.
the final question that remains is how and whether Minoes is going to be a cat again, which much to our joy is contrary to what both she and Tibbe have in mind. yes, like all the other happy endings, this fairytale too ends in the brave prince and charming princess uniting and living happily ever after.
based on a children's book by Annie M.G. Schmidt, it is a movie well made, with Minoes superbly played by Carice van Houten and Tibbe by Theo Maassen. the simplicity of a bedtime story is combined with the theme of finding your real self and standing true to it. highly recommended for children as well as adults, Minoes, as a movie is both heartwarming and fragile and brings that lost innocence back into our lives, once again.