DVD Review: Rapt

Rapt DVDSTUDIO: Kino Lorber | DIRECTOR: Lucas Belvaux | CAST: Yvan Attal, Anne Consigny, Alex Descas, André Marcon, Françoise Fabian
BLU-RAY & DVD RELEASE DATE: 12/6/2011 | PRICE: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $34.95
SPECS: NR | 123 min. | Foreign language drama thriller | 2.35:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1/DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 | French with English subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

French writer/director Lucas Belvaux’s 2009 film Rapt is a cool, elegantly visualized mystery, as much a commentary on media culture as it is an intricately plotted policier.

Stansislas Graff (Yvan Attal, Leaving), a wealthy industrialist, is shown skating through the priviledged life he was born into: Hustling in and out of meetings and mistreses, a quick kiss and dinner with the family, refueling the adrenaline with late night gambling and, finally, settling alone in his den with his faithful dog.

Rapt movie scene

Yvan Attal gets put through the ringer in the French thriller Rapt.

All this crashes (literally!) when he is kidnapped in broad daylight and held for ransom. As Graff’s hostage ordeal unfolds, his life becomes fodder for the French tabloids; he is a target of the anti-wealth mob mentality (making it particularly timely in this country). This devastates his family and sends his business associates scrambling for advantage. The outside world becomes as isolating and dangerous as his kidnappers’ prison.

Inspired by the 1978 abduction of French industrialist Edouard-Jean Empain, Rapt offers excellent acting in that French “impassive” style. Standing out is Anne Cosigny as the wife torn between humiliation and conscience (and the remnants of love) and Francoise Fabian as Graff’s mother, a chic and knowing French woman of a certain age who never allows her son’s kidnapping to get in the way of a hairdresser’s appointment. Best is Attal, who beautifully charts the progression of the hostage mentality: At first, frightened and angry, even trying to negotiate; later, brutalized and forced to crawl and beg, he is grateful for any glimmer of common humanity.

Filmmaker Belvaux keeps the action sequences moving and brings various elements together as the film ends with a masterful plot twist worthy of Greek tragedy.

Nominated for four Cesar Awards (France’s Oscars) for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Attal) and Best Supporting Actress (Consigny), Rapt is a highly recommended foreign language thriller.


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About David

David Leopold is an actor, writer and videographer who would take a Sherpa ride up a Tibetan mountain to see an Edwige Feuillère movie.