dvd / blu-ray Film

Kidnapping Freddy Heineken (DVD): Review


Based on actual events, The Kidnapping of Freddy Heineken tells the story of Alfred Henry “Freddy” Heineken (Anthony Hopkins), chairman of the board for Heineken International, a brewing company. In 1983, Freddy and his driver Ab Doderer were kidnapped and held for a ransom of 35 million Dutch guilders by Cor van Hout (Jim Sturgess), Willem Holleeder (Sam Worthington), Jan “Cat” Boelaard (Ryan Kwanten), Frans “Spikes” Meijer (Mark van Eeuwen) and Martin “Brakes” Erkamps (Thomas Cocquerel).

The film is an interesting telling of the events, in this character driven rendition of the highest ransom asked in a kidnapping, of an individual, to date. There is not too much in the form of action scenes, but one would not expect much, being that real life tends to be somewhat dull in comparison to what viewers have become accustomed to in Hollywood action titles.

The characters are well cast, with Hopkins commanding a screen presence that exudes the status of the powerful character he is portraying. The band of kidnappers turn in a colourful portrayal of their characters, detailing each individual personality, and creating subtle nuances.

Kidnapping Freddy Heineken is one of those interesting films, that you either want to see because you lived through the times of the incident, or because you are someone who is aware of the large international corporation the man represents, and are looking to learn more about the global news event the whole incident caused.

Not a film that warrants many repeat viewings, but an interesting, engrossing story nonetheless, and certainly of special interest to crime buffs, and those who enjoy a bit of a biographical tale. A character driven, real life story, presented by a talented cast ensemble.



Kidnapping Freddy Heineken is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.


The video is encoded at a high average bitrate, with no visible artefacts on screen. Users with the relevant hardware or software are able to scale up to a larger or higher resolution screen, if desired. Colour in the feature are slightly subdued, but this appears to be a creative choice.


Sound is provided via a Dolby 5.1 soundtrack, and is clear even at lower volumes. While there is use of the surround channels in scenes, further drawing the viewer in, the type of story does not lend is self to a large amount of use of the surrounds.


The navigation is plain, yet easy to follow, with a static menu screen.


There are no bonus features, other than a few trailers are the beginning of the disc, for upcoming titles.

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers.

Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry.

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