Main character Arnold Cleever gets increasingly paranoid in post war Amsterdam. His cranky landlord tries to kick him out of his room as most of his neighbors and friends vacate the place, leaving Arnold more and more ...展开isolated.
His innocent girlfriend tries her best to lift his mood but in private Arnold's fantasies get more and more morbid. He plays around with a gun (in a pre Taxidriver way) and adds countless locks to his door. He suffers from hallucinations and starts to think he is a former SS member, hunted down by the police. Gradually we learn Arnold suffered a trauma at the beginning of WW2. But as this is a reworking of a short story by the Dutch mysantropic author Willem Frederik Hermans, the stories we get to hear about the war are unremarkable and painfully unheroic.
All this is dramatized in long shots making great use of Amsterdam as location and the actor's youthfulness. Jan de Bond's camera work is stunning and the strumming on a guitar and the moody organ that serve as soundtrack are very effective. In my opinion this is an important film and it exhibits a feel for film and story, combined with a very self assured style, seldomly seen before and after in Dutch cinema.