A rich industrialist is brutally kidnapped. While he physically and mentally degenerates in imprisonment, the kidnappers, police and the board of the company of which he is director negotiate about the ransom of 50 million euro.
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Stanislaff Graff, a rich industrialist with a wife and a lover, is kidnapped brutally from his limousine on the eve of his visit to China as part of the entourage of the French president. The kidnappers demand a fifty million euro ransom. In order to prove they are serious, they cut off one of his fingers. What follows is a terrifying sparring match between kidnappers, police and the board of the company of which Graff is the director. The main question for the board: is a human life worth more than fifty million euros? Will they be able to get that amount of money together in time anyway? While they decide this he degenerates physically and mentally in imprisonment. In the meantime, the press dredges up the businessman's past with revelations that are especially painful for his wife. Written by
International Film Festival Rotterdam
A kidnapping is the background for an examination of self-absorption
"Rapt" (2009) is a well-done neo-noir, mixing the thriller genre with character studies. It gets a little bogged down and/or directionless at times during the middle portion, but not fatally. The picture has a robust third act.
The main theme of the story is self-absorption. Naturally, human beings live within themselves. The question is when a culture of excessive self-absorption or even narcissism becomes the rule. Work and profession can be one cause. For example, in this film, the police have their own agenda, which is at odds with that of the wife of a kidnapped industrialist. The industrialist is very self-absorbed, keeping his various circles separate from one another (family, work, gambling, a mistress). There is a deficit of empathy in all the relationships shown, as people can see things only from the point of view of their own feelings or whatever. Personal relationships and passions can be a cause. There is friction between the wife and her mother-in-law. The daughters of the victim have their own views as well. The business leaders of the victim's firm have yet other agendas. What seems to be a simple case of kidnapping is far from it, and especially when the kidnapped's personal life becomes a tabloid football. They too are absorbed in their own thing.
I can't recall having seen a meticulous examination of reactions to kidnapping such as this story presents. It's quite original and thought-provoking. The thriller-type scenes that involve the details of the ransom attempts and procedures are done with exemplary tension. This is one thing that nearly always is well done in French films.
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