Wednesday, September 8, 2010
"Twist after twist..."
2009 (September 2010 Australian release)
Dir/writer: J Blakeson
Twist after twist... though perhaps too many. It's safe to say the old adage, less is more, is pretty spot on. In the case of the twists in The Disappearance of Alice Creed more it seems is definitely too much.
The film has an interesting premise; a young woman, daughter of a wealthy man, is kidnapped and held for ransom, two million pounds. But not everything goes to plan, when does it ever seem to? The relationship between kidnappers Danny (Martin Compston) and Vic (Eddie Marsan) changes throughout the film, especially when the relationship between Danny and the kidnapped Alice (Gemma Arterton) is revealed to Vic.
What impressed me the most about this film was the opening, as Vic and Danny are preparing the apartment for the victim. It's done in a sort of how to style, very matter of fact and strategic, no frills, no emotion, no dialogue. It's a great way to be thrust into this film, and together with not revealing the kidnap victim until she's inside the apartment, was a clever move I felt.
As mentioned before this film is filled with seemingly endless plot twists, some which delighted and others which felt a bit like going around a round about one too many times. In the end the number of twists jeopardised the dramatic impact of the story for me; it was no longer an interesting angle on the tired kidnap story, it was the guess when this merry go round is going to end folks. And yet despite this I still enjoyed the film. This was only possible thanks to the performance of Eddie Marsan as Vic, who tiptoed the line between comedic, unknowing partner in crime and don't mess with me ringleader. The other two performances were both solid though forgettable, especially Arterton's painfully sweet British delivery of "Daddy" one too many times.
The self imposed limitations of the film seem to be both its hero and its downfall; limiting the cast to three characters and telling the story primarily in one location were at once delightfully non Hollywood and disappointingly off pace, it's hard to place Creed on the scale of good to bad, it seems to be sitting, for me, somewhere in the middle. I would still recommend this film to those who enjoy a good crime drama low on thrills but are looking for something a little less Mel Gibson in Ransom.
The Disappearance of Alice Creed is showing in Australian cinemas from Thursday September 9th.