Jonathan Romney reviews “Double Play”


[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] British film critic Jonathan Romney (Screen Daily) reviews Double Play (2017, U.S./Curaçao) directed by Ernest Dickerson. Here are excerpts:

The last place you might expect an internationally known director to turn up is in the Curaçaoan film industry, but that’s where versatile veteran Ernest Dickerson can be found with Double Play, a production from the Caribbean nation that in many ways pitches itself as an advert for the cultural vibrancy – and filming opportunities – of the island. Based on a novel by Kurasoleño writer Frank Martinus Arion, the film is clearly steeped in the spirit of place, has a strong international cast and is very handsomely mounted.

[. . .] The film certainly comes across as one of the more idiosyncratic projects for former star DoP and Spike Lee associate Dickerson, whose directing career started with 1992 urban drama Juice, then diversified into such material as action thriller Surviving the Game and high-profile TV shows like The WireDexter and TremeDouble Play is, by contrast, is essentially a low-key ensemble piece set against a background of the Caribbean former colonies and their past, the closest comparison perhaps being Euzhan Palcy’s 1983 Martiniquais drama Rue Cases-Nègres.

The film – in English, with occasional touches of Spanish and the local papiamento – begins with a voice-over welcoming us to “the living paradox that is Curaçao”; the first clue that the script will be a little prone to overstatement and insistent exposition. The voice belongs to Ostrik (Colin Salmon), a middle-aged doctor returning to his birthplace after time spent living in the Netherlands. He’s here to come to terms with his past, as witnessed by his 11-year-old self (Dani Dare). [. . .]

For full review, see

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