Film, Thrillers
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More conventional than his ambitious ‘Trilogy’ and less heart-on-the-sleeve than his caper/drama ‘The Right of the Weakest’, the versatile Belgian director Lucas Belvaux’s latest is, nevertheless, a tense hostage-thriller with a difference.

It kicks off in central Paris with its quarry, rich company chairman ‘Stan’ Graff (Yvan Attal) in full flight: dropping arrogant asides to his colleagues as he prepares to accompany the President of the Republic overseas, then dropping in briefly on his mistress in their secret flat before dropping a small fortune on a lengthier visit to the poker tables. When a Marseille-based gang kidnaps him the following morning, his company looks good for coming up with the €50 million ransom. But as the media, police and interior ministry interfere, his firm gets cold feet, the unions balk and his family’s sense of shock increases, his neck gets closer and closer to the chopping block.

Belvaux, aided by elegant work from cinematographer Pierre Milon, orchestrates an extensive and dove-tailing cast, the relay of information, dramatic police chases and swift changes of pace and negotiating stance with old-fashioned Melvillian sang froid and teasing emotional restraint. As we constantly intercut to a disintegrating Graff, the ironies of the unfortunate man’s menacing predicament are allowed to quietly compound (if not settle) in a pleasing counterpoint to the frenzied action outside. It’s obvious Belvaux is having fun in his impassive portrait of a poor little rich man undone by not only fortune and fate but his own misdeeds and blind arrogance; but the director is never so indulgent as to spoil what is a finely mounted thriller.

By: Wally Hammond


Release details

Release date: Friday July 16 2010
Duration: 125 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Lucas Belvaux
Screenwriter: Lucas Belvaux
Cast: Yvan Attal
André Marcon
Françoise Fabian
Anne Consigny

Average User Rating

1.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Whether made for cinema, or made for TV, the whole kidnap/ransom thing’s been played out on the screens many, many times. And that’s the problem with this film – there’s very little in it that distinguishes it from any other kidnap/ransom film – you’ve seen most of it before. Having seen Yvan Attal and Anne Consigny in other films, I thought the direction/acting in Rapt not as good as it could have been, the continuity’s a bit shaky, and other minor overlooked details begin to grate. (Towards the end, our hero has been released, and wears a vastly oversized shirt to add to the impression he’s lost a ton of weight. Unfortunately, the shirt in question’s so vast, even Luciano Pavarotti would complain it was a bit on the baggy side.) Attal’s significantly better in the film “Leaving�, on current release. A very small audience at the Curzon (Soho) on Sunday evening (often a well attended evening), and two of those walked out 30 mins from the end (clearly not nearly as gripping as they thought it ought to be, either). On the whole, disappointing, and the sort of “filler� film that would get shown on TV on those days between Boxing Day and New Year, or at 3am (that’s not a compliment). . Time Out/Wally Hammond’s review is wide of the mark. Two (fairly generous) stars from me.