Flemish director Peter Monsaert appears to be yet another exciting prospect from Belgium, and if his future films also turn out to be anything like "Offline", we sure will be in for a treat.
Rudy (Wim Willaert), released from prison after serving seven years, arrives at his home-town to try and pick up the pieces of his life. But it won't be easy - his ex-wife Carine (Patricia Goemaere) is not too keen to hear from him, and Vicky (Anemone Valcke), his grown-up daughter, isn't even aware that he's still alive. Not only should Rudy try and reach out to Vicky - his only connection left in the world, but also prove to her that he's a changed man - that he deserves a second chance. For that he needs to rebuild a trust that was shattered, following a traumatic event that led to his incarceration in the first place. When he does make contact, their relationship will fail to take off, and Rudy is left with the awkward proposition of having to 'communicate' with Vicky, anonymously, online (and don't dads hate that)!
"Offline" is an example of how a simple story about complicated relationships can be eloquently told with the help of a well-crafted screenplay. It is this, along with the fine editing that makes this film an exquisite cinema experience. I'm not generally a great fan of fast edits and frantic shot selections, but on this occasion, it conveys the drama beautifully. Aided by strong performances by the main cast, the well engineered sound, and not least the music by Triggerfinger, this production oozes class. This moving, funny, and heart-warming little gem is definitely - Highly Recommended Viewing..!
Official Site and Trailer | DVD Link [PAL]
The Nudity: Anemone Valcke, and Wim Willaert
The film features brief albeit unavoidable nudity from Wim Willaert playing Rudy, and pretty Belgian actress Anemone Valcke - she plays Rudy's daughter Vicky, saving money for her studies through a webcam site.