For a Few Marbles More (2006) – By Duane L. Martin

For a Few Marbles More is a family film from The Netherlands by director Jelmar Hufen.  Now honestly, we don’t get many family films here at Rogue Cinema, and I believe this is the first film we’ve ever reviewed from The Netherlands, so I was pretty interested to see how it was.  So…how was it?

Well, this film is short, coming in at about eleven minutes.  It’s apparently won numerous awards, and after watching it I can kind of understand why.  I’ll explain the "kind of" part in a minute.

 The film itself is about a group of kids, who while playing marbles in the local playground, are suddenly accosted and kicked out by two, early middle-aged drunken schmucks who come in and take over the whole thing.  The kids, not willing to just walk away, devise a plan with the help of a local lone wolf, bully type kid when they purchase his services with all the marbles they had been playing with earlier.  The kid comes up with a plan to drive the bullies out of the playground, which involves pee and squirt guns.  I’m sure you can figure out the rest.

On every technical level, this is an awesome film.  The cinematography is extremely good, the lighting is perfect, the sound is excellent, the editing keeps the film tight and moves the story along at a perfect pace etc…  Every technical aspect of this film was virtually flawless. The acting was also first rate.  The kids were all phenomenal actors, and the two drunken bullies were great as well.

Now, to explain why I only "kind of" understand why this film won awards.  If the awards were for the technical aspects of the film, I’d totally understand it.  The problem is, there’s more to a film than just the technical.  The story has to also be there, otherwise you don’t have a complete product.  This film has a story to be sure, but the problem with it is, it was far too obvious, and in my opinion, far too short.

The thing with peeing in the super soakers and driving the thugs out of the playground by squirting them with pee was all well and good, but it was so obvious before it ever happened that I almost felt let down, and even somewhat bored by it.  Now, if the film had been lengthened out and that had been say just one of the attempts to drive them out and they kept coming back and the kids had to keep trying different things to drive them away, that would have made for a far more exciting film.  As it is, the film is too short and feels like it’s missing out on a lot of potential fun that could have been had between the kids and the thugs.

What really saves this film from the problems with the story is the great acting and the great technical work done on it.  If either of those had been lacking, I would not be giving this film a good review.  However, since those elements were there, and the story was generally ok, I can definitely recommend checking out this film if you get the chance.  I don’t know how much re-watchability it would have, but it’s worth seeing at least once anyway.

There’s really nothing on the Kairos Films website at the moment, but just to get it out there, the address is http://www.kairosfilms.nl.