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Tricked: Lies Always Backfire
by Karen Pecota

Launched in the Netherlands, a user generated film from seasoned Dutch Filmmaker Paul Verhoeven hits the silver screen with TRICKED: Lies Always Backfire. In this film he reinvents himself. He uses extreme cutting-edge filmmaking and creativity from the general public from the Netherlands. Together they collaborate on a storyline and decisive elements of the films plot, music, graphics and set design for his experimental project. The narrative unveils the consequences of telling lies and the dangerous trappings from the web it threads.

Verhoeven’s film is seen in two parts in order to explain the intricacies of a user generated project. It’s a teaching lesson to be taken seriously by any filmmaker who desires to learn from the best. Part I is the explanation in documentary form of Verhoeven’s Experimental Project and the experience with his countrymen in a unique collaboration in filmmaking. In part II we see the final product—a short dramatic feature of lies and betrayal.

The details of how the project convened is as follows: Verhoeven organized a broadly announced contest to the general public of the Netherlands for a chance to participate in a movie project he was directing. The contest was open for a short period of time. The contest guidelines were: 1) Submit a two page screenplay, 2) The subject for the script is to be about telling lies, 3) Must use eight actors—four men and four women, 4) All the actors have to be connected to each other in the storyline.

Without any idea of the response, so much was at stake for Verhoeven’s style of filmmaking-- not to mention the huge risk with the unknown and unpredictable. A shocking 300 submissions appeared with over a thousand pages of highly creative work. Verhoeven had his hands full!

The Dutch public makes a difference in the world of film and a new way of filmmaking transpires after nine months of production. The project proves to be ground breaking for the future of filmmaking.


Real estate tycoon, Remco (Peter Blok) comes to grip with his very successful and frivolous lifestyle at a part to celebrate his 50th Birthday. The birthday party is thrown by Remco’s wife, Ineke (Ricky Koole) with elegance and all of her husband’s closest relationships are invited. The women in his life each give him a special birthday present. All the individual gifts represent a particular secret only understood by the female giver and the birthday boy. The evening of celebration begins to sour for Remco when a former business associate whom he had an affair with shows up pregnant. She alludes that Remco is the father. He panics. The news puts a damper on his planned announcement to be made to his party guests of his early retirement. The responsibility of another child and all of the ramifications of his secrets surrounding the affair is just the beginning of Remco’s problems because lies always backfire.