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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

RAPT (2009)

Loosely ‘suggested’ by the 1978 kidnapping of a French Corporate CEO, Lucas Blevaux’s slickly-made thriller only received a token release in the States, but is apparently getting an English-language remake under the translated title ABDUCTION(2013?). Yvan Attal stars as a morally compromised exec whose business & home life come unraveled while he’s being held for ransom. Not too surprising as press & police revelations uncover a secret life of debts, sex & high stakes gambling, the usual Upper-Crust entitlement vices. The crisscross action between the brutal kidnappers, the chilly home life, corporate in-fighting & police investigators puts more narrative & character balls in the air than Blevaux can comfortably handle at once, and the really interesting stuff, the motivations & consequences that only get sorted out after the crime is resolved, are largely shortchanged. But just at the moment, the film gains some unearned resonance from the messy sex scandal currently undoing the life & political career of monetary-fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Though, without a kidnapping element, how sleazy & unsympathetic these economic Masters-of-the-Universe look under tabloid scrutiny.

WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: Watch Akira Kurosawa work his way thru similar elements (corporate exec, company cash, kidnapping, police procedure) in his masterful HIGH AND LOW/’63.

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