Rapt (tbc)

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner19/07/2010

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 125 mins

Gripping psychological thriller with strong performances from Yvan Attal and Anne Consigny – it drags a little in the middle and could have been 20 minutes shorter, but it compensates with a superb final act.

What's it all about?
Directed by Lucas Belvaux (who made the excellent Trilogy), Rapt stars Yvan Attal (rapidly becoming the Daniel Auteuil of the Noughties, since he seems to be in everything) as wealthy industrialist Stanislas Graff, who's kidnapped on his way to work by a Marseille-based gang who promptly chop off his finger and demand €50 million for his release. However, his company balk at paying the ransom and the police are vehemently against paying it anyway, while his wife (Anne Consigny) can't raise the required amount on her own.

Meanwhile, the media have a field day with the case, revealing strings of mistresses and high gambling debts, all of which comes as a huge shock to Graff's family and embarrasses his company, which has close political ties to the establishment. After their main demands are refused, the kidnappers make separate arrangements with Graff's lawyer (Alex Descas), but the police show up to the drop, placing Graff's safety in severe jeopardy.

The Good
The performances are excellent, particularly Attal, who clearly starved himself for his later scenes, while Consigny is superb as Francoise, struggling to hold it together for the sake of her family but bombarded by media revelations on a daily basis. There's also strong support from Andre Marcon as Graff's second in command and from Messens as Veronique.

Belvaux takes a rigorous procedural approach to the kidnap case that recalls the work of both Costa-Gavras and Jean-Pierre Melville, as well as films such as Fred Zinneman's The Day of the Jackal. As such, the film works as both kidnap thriller and gripping psychological drama – the final act of the film, dealing with - spoiler alert – the events following Graff's release are just as compelling as the thriller elements and pack a powerful emotional punch.

The Bad
The pacing of the film slows right down in the middle section and it could probably have been a good 20 minutes shorter (possibly losing the section where the kidnappers contact the daughter), but it comes storming back with a terrific final act that includes a man being karate chopped to death on a train.

Worth seeing?
Rapt is an absorbing film that works as both kidnap thriller and psychological drama. Worth seeing.

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Content updated: 22/10/2019 12:53

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