[Renée Soutendijk] ‘Sweet Dreams’ Review: A Dutch-Swedish Drama by Ena Sendijarević

The movie Sweet Dreams is very interesting because it makes fun of the sad truths of European tyranny. The Dutch and Swedish made the movie, which is directed by Ena Sendijarević and takes place on a Dutch East Indies farm at the start of the 20th century. It’s about power, greed, and relationships between people.

Hans Dagelet plays Jan, a rich Dutch sugar tycoon whose sudden death is at the center of the story. Jan’s death sets off a chain of events that show the ugly truths of colonial rule. Jan’s legacy is complicated by his wife Agathe (Renée Soutendijk), son Cornelis (Florian Myjer), and his pregnant wife Josefien (Lisa Zweerman), who all come from the Netherlands to claim their share of the family business.

They are shocked to learn that Jan has left a large part of his wealth to his mistress, a farm worker named Siti (Hayati Azis). This big reveal sets the stage for a darkly comedic look at how people really are as they deal with their fears, wants, and the harsh facts of life in the colonies.

One great thing about the movie is that it can be both funny and sad at the same time, by talking about the effects of colonization. “Sweet Dreams” shows how ridiculous and cruel it is for Europeans to rule over native people through its sharp wit and cutting humor. The setting of the movie is used in a clever way to show how hypocritical and cocky the colonizers were. They are shown to be clueless and disconnected from the harsh realities of life on the farm.

Some of the best acting in “Sweet Dreams” comes from Renée Soutendijk, who plays Agathe, a woman who is torn between grief and greed. Hayati Azis is just as interesting as Siti. She gives a character who could have been reduced to a cliché depth and humanity. The supporting actors, like Florian Myjer and Lisa Zweerman, also give strong performances that give the characters’ struggles and reasons more depth. Renée Soutendijk won the Pardo for Best Performance at the 2023 Locarno Film Festival for her outstanding portrayal in “Sweet Dreams.”

“Sweet Dreams” is a beautiful movie to look at. Cinematographer Emo Weemhoff did a great job of capturing the lush scenery of the Dutch East Indies. The striking use of color and composition in the movie creates a dreamlike mood that is very different from the harsh realities of life on the farm. Ena Sendijarević for winning the Golden Calf for Best  Director for “Sweet Dreams”!

Rating: Out of five stars, I would give “Sweet Dreams” four. The movie is a must-see for anyone who likes movies that make them think. It has a great plot, great acting, and beautiful images. But some people might find the movie slow at times, and its dark themes might not be appropriate for all watchers. For the most part, “Sweet Dreams” is a great movie that shows how colonialism affected people and how complicated people are.

See you soon at tvacute.com for more “Sweet Dreams” news, sneak peeks, and reviews.

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Olivia Wilson
Olivia Wilsonhttps://www.tvacute.com/
Olivia Wilson is the senior news writer for TV Acute. She spends too much money on collectables and is enamored with movies, comics, and television series. She loves binge-watching and can spend hours talking about movies and TV shows. She can immerse herself into a good story no matter the genre or form and only come out from it when she's had her fill. When she's not writing, she's probably cooking or exploring new places. You can follow her daily exploits on Twitter and Facebook.

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