Kidnapping Freddy Heineken
Sordid crime tale about the ultimate heist
Reel life The title is self-explanatory. Anthony Hopkins plays the late Freddy Heineken – yes, of that beer company – who is the grandson of the brewery’s founder. Five criminals plot to kidnap him using the oldest trick in the book: an unmarked van, a heavy right foot and a whole lotta cajones. Channelling Hannibal Lecter, Hopkins is chillingly calm, directing his piercing gaze on the men to mess with their minds. Moral of the story? Don’t mess with Anthony Hopkins. Just don’t.
This isn’t the first time a movie has been made about Heineken’s story. Four years ago, a Dutch film, De Heineken Ontvoering (The Heineken Kidnapping), was declared inaccurate by the kidnappers. But things are looking up for this attempt, adapted from crime journalist Peter R de Vries’ 1987 book, which he penned after covering the case for a Dutch newspaper, where he helped track down one of the kidnappers. Our fingers are crossed.
Real life Yes, the beer tycoon (and his driver) were really kidnapped for 21 days in 1983. The caper was two years in the making, and the men did get what they demanded: a whopping 35 million Dutch guilders (about $26 million), the largest in the history of ransoms. But far from being hardened thugs, the men ran a construction business that floundered after a recession. After the crime made it to front page news, they fled separately and were hunted down over the years, eventually ending up behind bars.
Cheesy movie quote ‘There are two ways a man can be rich in this life. He can have a lot of money, or he can have a lot of friends. But he cannot have both.’ – Hopkins as Heineken
Kidnapping Freddy Heineken is in theatres from Mar 19.
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