Drama shows gangster's backstory; drugs, violence, language.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ferry shows us a Dutch underworld through the eyes of the title character, second-in-command to a drug and vice crime boss. Ferry loves the life, beating up and shooting rivals and getting wasted at strip clubs with his boss and their gang. The action includes drug and alcohol use, bared breasts, and violence, especially after one member of the gang is murdered by masked rivals. Criminals beat, punch, and kick each other. Lots of people are shot. As Ferry is sent to hunt down and murder the perpetrators, he accidentally falls in love, which complicates the mission and his life. Language includes "f--k," "c--t," "s--t," "d--k," "c--k," "ass," "bastard," "bitch," "damn," "hell," "whore," and "piss." In Dutch with English subtitles.
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What's the Story?
FERRY is set more than a decade ago, when the title character, played by Frank Lammers, was the top aide to a crime boss called Brink (Huub Stapel). The feature sets up the backstory for characters in the popular Netflix crime series Undercover. Brink, a cruel taskmaster, treats Ferry like a son and together they run strip clubs and an illegal drug business from their Amsterdam headquarters. When their hideout is raided by masked, armed intruders who kill Brink's actual son Mattijs, Ferry is sent to the southern camping grounds he grew up in to find the rival gang and wreak vengeance. He visits his sister, dying of cancer and still living in the campgrounds of their childhood. One by one, he hunts down the attackers, assassinating the first two without much care to cover his tracks, wipe fingerprints, dispose of weapons, or even wipe the blood spatter off his shirts. At the campgrounds, Ferry has a flirtation with the sweet and welcoming Danielle (Elise Schaap) while he's waiting to ambush his first target. When he learns the third perpetrator has a connection to Danielle, he makes a life-changing decision meant to reveal something about his character.
Is It Any Good?
Ferry is absorbing and fun in a way that most violent gangster movies rarely are, a credit to director Cecilia Verheyden and writers Nico Moolenaar and Bart Uytdenhouwen. The brutality, that at times reaches Goodfellas levels, is balanced by an equally deep exploration of Ferry's character. Like his dad, he's violent and drinks too much but, despite a hot temper, he can at times control his impulses and think a few steps ahead. More important, the movie takes pains to show us he has a heart, in spite of the tough exterior he's cultivated, and a capacity to put the needs of others before his own, not usually high on the character-trait list of sociopathic killers and career criminals.
So, we root for this bad guy and we judge him less than the other bad guys he runs with. The movie's handy accomplishment can open the door to conversations with older teens about relative morality and who we think of as villains, as well as how much we are willing to forgive. Be sure to watch through the set of "final" first credits for one extra scene.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the main character's actions. What do you think the movie wants us to think about Ferry? Does his good outweigh his bad? Why or why not?
What does the movie say about fairness? Ferry talks about whether someone "deserves" to die. Does that suggest that morality isn't a set of unchanging rules? Do you agree? Why or why not?
How do the filmmakers get us to root for a bad guy?
- On DVD or streaming: May 14, 2021
- Cast: Frank Lammers, Elise Schaap, Huub Stapel, Raymond Thiry, Monic Hendrickx
- Director: Cecelia Verheyden
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Drama
- Run time: 106 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 17, 2023
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