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Rapt (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

February 20, 2012 by  



“Rapt” is a stunning thriller from filmmaker Lucas Belvaux that will leave you shocked and surprise of how life for one man who had it all, can change quickly after a kidnapping. Featuring a wonderful performance by Yvan Attal, “Rapt” is recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2009 – AGAT Films & Cio – Entre Chien & Loup. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Rapt

FILM RELEASE: 2009

DURATION: 123 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 2:35:1, Color, French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 with optional English Subtitles

COMPANY: Kino Lorber Incorporated

RATED: Not Rated

Release Date: December 6, 2011

Written and Directed by Lucas Belvaux

Music by Riccardo Del Fra

Cinematography by Pierre Milon

Edited by Danielle Anezin

Production Design by Frederique Belvaux

Set Decoration by Florence Vercheval

Starring:

Yvan Attal as Stanislas Graff

Anne Consigny as Francoise Graff

Andre Marcon as Andre Peyrac

Francoise Fabian as Marjorie

Alex Descas as Maitre Walser

Michel Voita as Le Commissaire Paoli

Gerard Meylan as Le Marseillais

Maxime Lefrancois as Bertaux

Christophe Kourotchkine as Jean-Jacques Garnier

Sarah Messens as Veronique Graff

Julie Kaye as Martine Graff

Marc Riufoul as Le Commandant Chenut

Patrick Descamps as Massart

Bertrand Constant as Le Capitaine Verne

Tania Torrens as Mademe Keller

One morning, the rich and powerful industrialist Stanislas Graff is kidnapped outside his home by a commando group. Completely cut off from the rest of the world, and only aware of what the kidnappers tell him, Stanislas cannot understand why his friends and family are taking their time to pay the demanded ransom. Outside, his world breaks down as the details of his double life emerge. All of his most intimate secrets – including a mistress and gambling debts – are revealed to his family, the police, and the public. Everyone discovers a man far different than the one they had imagined.

A stunning thriller from filmmaker Lucas Belvaux that will leave you shocked and surprise of how things develop from beginning to end.

“Rapt” is a 2009 film written by Lucas Belvaux, who is best known for “La riason du plus faible” (2006) and “The Trilogy” films (“On the Run”, “An Amazing Couple” and “After the Life”) of 2002.  Inspired by the real life kidnapping of Baron Édouard-Jean Empain, a French-Belgian industrialist and CEO of the Schneider Group.

The winner of two Cesar Awards for Best Director and Best Film, “Rapt” would star Yvan Attal (“Rush Hour 3”, “My Wife is an Actress”, “The Interpreter”), Anne Consigny (“A Christmas Tale”, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”, “Mesrine: Public Enemy #1”) and Andre Marcon (“The Page Turner”, “Les Destinees”).

“Rapt” is a film about a wealthy industrialist named Stanislaff Graff (played by Yvan Attal), who is planning a visit to China as part of the entourage of the French president.  He has a loving wife named Francoise (played by Anne Consigny) and two teenage daughters Veronique (played by Sarah Messens) and Martine (played by Julie Kaye).

Always busy with work, we see glimpses that this wealthy individual also has a secret life.  He is having an affair with a woman, he is also a hardcore gambler.

As he prepares for his trip to China, his car is stopped and a group of armed men wearing masks kidnap him.

The authorities gather at their home and Francoise is being questioned of who may have kidnapped him and what is the motive.  Meanwhile, his company and board members must contemplate how much they will they give up financially for Stanislas, as it is important to safeguard the company and also protect their shareholders.

The kidnappers demand 50 million Euros and to show that they are not kidding, they chop off one of Stanislas fingers and send it with the ransom note.

And the kidnapping because the biggest news in France and public sentiment wishes for the safe return of Stanislas, that is until the authorities and also the media begin their investigation and learn about Stanislas personal life.

Stanislas’ family and authorities learn that he has had many mistresses, has a secret place for having sex with these women, lost a lot of money in gambling and in essence, because of his high debt, the family doesn’t have much money to pay the ransom.  To make things worse, because the media has also discovered the dirt on Stansilas, public opinion has turned on Stanislas and the public doesn’t seem to care about his disappearance.  And as for his multi-national company, they are more concerned of controlling the negative publicity and also because of Stanislas life and gambling debts, the shareholders do not want to use the company’s money as part of the ransom.

And as the police try to find ways to have Stanislas freed, the world and life that he may return to, may be even worse.

VIDEO:

“Rapt” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:35:1).  For those who are familiar with Kino Lorber’s Blu-ray release, this is not a company that does a lot of fixing up of the original print.  They present a film in High Definition without too much interference when it comes to fixing any deficiencies, and if the quality is not up to their standard, they will not release it.

The good news is that “Rapt” is one of the films released on Blu-ray form Kino Lorber that is not that old.  The picture quality is full of clarity, colors are warm and a little soft.  Black levels are nice and deep but it’s not a vibrant film full of colors, if anything, the softness and muted colors tend to compliment this style of film.

As for the cinematography, Pierre Milon (“The Trilogy”, “The Class”, “Time Out”) has done a great job in capturing emotion with the close-ups of Stanislas, his wife and others.  While not a beautiful film, he does manage to capture a wide-range of emotions.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Rapt” is presented in French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.  The film is primarily a dialogue-driven film and center/front-channel driven.  Rarely is the film taken to an area with crowds, it’s primarily in a room with two individuals speaking and thus, no external ambiance or anything that really utilizes the surround channels.

Dialogue is crisp and clear.  The music by composer Riccardo Del Fra is also beautiful but outside of dialogue and music, there weren’t a lot of action sequences or anything that utilizes the surround channels, although there were some scenes that involved the detectives that could have utilized ambiance or the surround channels, but the film is a straightforward front and center channel film.

With that being said, the lossless soundtrack is appropriate for this film.

Optional English subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES

“Rapt” comes with the following special features:

  • Trailers – Kino Lorber trailers.
  • Stills – Featuring stills from “Rapt”.

EXTRAS:

“Rapt” comes with a slipcase cover.

Have you watched many kidnapping films?  Well, the good news is that “Rapt” is unlike those other films thanks to the clever writing of Lucas Belvaux.

When it comes to kidnapping films, there is always a banality of police trying to negotiate a release, a headstrong officer and his partner trying to save the kidnapped victim, the kidnappers receiving their due by getting killed by the hero, while the hero saves the day.  In other words,  kidnapping stories that we have seen over and over again.

This is not the case for “Rapt”.

Inspired by the real life story of Baron Édouard-Jean Empain, the wealthy industrialist who was held captive for two months and even had his little finger amputated, that is probably the only similarity the real life kidnapping case has with this film.

In “Rapt”, audiences are see the story play out in the beginning for the wealthy industrialist Stanslas Graff.  We know that police are going to do all they can to help, we know the family is going to be worried and as for his company, they would fork over enough money they can to get him freed.  But why make the same kidnapping story over and over again.  Writer Lucas Belvaux takes a different route with “Rapt” by what if the person kidnapped was not a good guy afterall?

Here is a man who seemed like he has it all.  A successful company, a beautiful loving wife and children.  But yet, we find out that he is gambler who is in debt, he has had many many mistresses and as his family who thinks they are well-off, well…maybe they aren’t at all.  Did he care for his family?  Did he care about his business?  Or was this man all about himself and living off the success of others and having this facade of having this great life?

We watch as Stanislas Graff is being held captive, the kidnappers thinking they scored big time by kidnapping this wealthy industrialist but as the weeks go on, they realize that his family and his company are not willing to pay his ransom.  For Stanislas, in his mind, how is is that no one is going to save him?  While in the public sentiment, those who were supportive and felt bad for him, have now looked at him as another wealthy individual who has abused his power with his wealth and betrayed not only his family but also his company.

Performance by actor Yvan Attal is fantastic.  May it be a distressed man during the kidnapping or seeing the arrogant, yet egotistical wealthy man.  He does a remarkable job of playing the part of Stanislas Graff.  As well as the other characters including Francoise Fabian as his emotional wife.

As for the Blu-ray release, I was hoping for audio commentary or special features, but we are given a stills gallery.  As for the picture quality, as mentioned, colors are warm, soft and a bit muted at times and by no means, is this film supposed to be vibrant or cheery.   It’s a dark thriller and the picture and audio quality is appropriate for this film.

“Rapt” is a slow-paced film and for those expecting the traditional happy ending of kidnapping films, “Rapt” ends with a scene that leaves the viewer to interpret the final ending.  Has Stanislas Graff changed for the good or the bad?

Overall, “Rapt” is a stunning thriller from filmmaker Lucas Belvaux that will leave you shocked and surprised of how things develop from beginning to end.  This is not a film about a man who changes his life after being kidnapped, don’t expect the Hollywood happy ending.  “Rapt” is a film about a man who had it all and how far he has fallen.

Recommended.

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