Rapt - DVD Review

'As social comment, it's inaccurate and stereotypical. As kidnap film it lacks tension and impetus'

A kidnap film which is pedestrian almost to the point of being static, Rapt cultivates a critique of the upper classes and their disconnected life which, thanks to an unrealistic central character and some inept direction, it never fully follows up on. As social comment, it's inaccurate and stereotypical. As kidnap film it lacks tension and impetus.

In the lead, Yvan Attal is the greatest asset director Lucas Belvaux has got. In some small scenes, he portrays a shocked, stunned and scared witless kidnap victim remarkably well, deferential to his captors whilst he physically wastes away in what looks suspiciously like a Christian Bale-esque piece of method acting. But his character never convinces. Initially portrayed as a fearless man of passion and brimstone, the Stanislas Graff that we see for most of the film bears little resemblance to the character we see out of captivity. This change renders Belvaux's social commentary redundant: Graff just isn't the capitalist monster he wants to make him out to be.

The pace, which drags throughout the film's two hour-plus runtime, begins to show signs of picking up when a super-cop takes on the task of delivering the ransom money. The kidnappers give him a point-by-point set of directions as his colleagues attempt to follow him on the ground and in the sky. It's reasonably successful for a time but come the end everything Belvaux builds up is torn down by an inept piece of choreography, acting and shooting as the policeman tells one hoodlum he's just killed his friend (with a single punch no less) whilst said friend sits in full view of the camera with his eyes open, blood capsule duly bitten upon and dribbling down his mouth. It's incompetent stuff and it wastes the lengthy build up previously embarked upon.

Belvaux's struggle to create tension is matched by his struggles with the atmosphere of Rapt. Largely devoid of a score, the director places greater emphasis on his actors than he needed to and at many points - particularly when the focus is on the police, Graff's associates or family - the screen is populated with lifeless mountains of dialogue, delivered in a completely flat and listless manner that only seems fit for a TV soap. André Marcon as Graff's business associate is perhaps chiefly at fault in this regard but it seems unfair to pick out just one element in what is a debacle on almost every level and an incredibly un-engaging one at that.

Look further...

'Rapt is ultimately more of a character study than a straightforward thriller, and it impresses on both levels' - Phil On Film


  1. I recall reading reviews for the film in local press. They said it was crap as well.

  2. That doesn't surprise me although I've seen some positive reviews rattling around (as well as Phil's at the bottom of the post) so some people obviously got something out of it!