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Rapt (Blu-ray Review)

The Kino Lorber group have released Rapt, the latest thriller in the kidnapped genre, but with a slight French twist. The twist being that it’s a French film. Okay, that’s not really a twist, but it’s a French kidnap-thriller of a film. You guys already know how I feel about French films, so it was a real treat to get a chance to review the latest French Blu-ray involving a kidnap for ransom story. Now the important question is, was it any good? Did it suck? Well, that’s what you’re here to find out, isn’t it. Sit back while take we you through the mean streets of Rapt.

 

 

 

Film 

Rapt is a 2009 French thriller which has been brought to the states on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber, who I tend to call the “junior Criterion Collection,” because they have a reputation for also bringing mainstream and not so mainstream films from all over the world to a greater audience. That is the case with Rapt, a French kidnap-thriller. The film stars Yvan Attal as Stanislas Graff, a wealthy industrialist who is extremely good at doing his job all the while juggling his personal life. He has an attractive wife named Francoise (Anne Consigny) and two young daughters, and a dog. All is peachy until one day Stanislas is kidnapped in broad daylight by a mysterious group of ill-intentioned wrongdoers.

These hostage takers demand a ransom of 50 million euros and not one cent less. If they do not get the amount in full, they will begin cutting pieces of Stanislas’ body to mail out to the the authorities. Yes, the kidnappers mean business. With the authorities doing everything they can, Stanislas’ company also begins to try to raise the large sum money by the deadline. This is where Rapt really kicks into high gear. It’s one big politcal play by all parties involved, even Stanislas himself, even if he doesn’t know it yet.

Stanislas is a major shareholder of his company, but the company really doesn’t want to give up the money for his return unless they get a loan guarantee for repayment from certain parties, mainly Stanislas asset holders. If worse came to worse and the money was turned over, could they liquidate Stanislas’ assets and payback the loan? That’s one of the scenarios played out in Rapt. The other is the police procedural part of the story. The police want to go in with both barrels blasting, damn the torpedoes, etc. This poses a problem, because Stanislas is a very important individual, so the police, whether they like it or not, have to hold back. Then there’s the family component. The family is torn on what to do, because you have one group of people telling them what to do while another group of people are advising them to do the opposite. It’s one big catch-22…on acid.

Then there’s our main protagonist Stanislas. Stanislas has vices of his own like having a gambling problem, being an adulterer, and having an apartment for said rendezvous. This puts his image in question for the whole country to see and judge. This is the component of the film that was the most interesting. There’s that moral dilemma that is raised by those that are trying to rescue him. Is this “piece of crap” human being worth 50 million Euro? Is he worth saving just because he cheated on his wife many times and has a serious gambling problem? What will the shareholders think about this? The topics are covered in more detail as the film progresses, but were some of my favorite things about the film.

Yvan Attal is a very good actor and his performance as the captured hostage really resonated with me. In fact, he reminded me of a French version of Christian Bale. He had a quiet intensity about him where you sympathized with him, then hated him for a bit, and then sympathized with him again. He is an actor-director, and I look forward to discovering more of his work in the future. I did hear that there is a U.S. remake in the works for Rapt, so take that as you will. I hope audiences get a chance to actually watch this French version, before the remake hits stateside. Rapt is pretty damn awesome.

 

Video  

Rapt is presented in 1080p, 2.35:1, widescreen. Here’s an almost flawless Blu-ray presentation of a film. It only suffers somewhat in the darkish dwelling that Stanislas inhabits, but I have a feeling that was due to the color of the walls. They tended to be somewhat noisy in those scenes. Other than that flaw, flesh tones are natural, colors are vibrant, blacks are inky, sharpness levels are balanced, and edge enhancement is absent. Contrast is a bit on the hot side, but it could be due to the overcast skies. I think Rapt was shot in the winter time. Regardless, Rapt looks brilliant on Blu-ray.

Audio 

Rapt is presented in French DTS-HD MA 5.1 with optional English subtitles. Again, just like the video, this audio track hits it out of the stadium! Dialogue is smooth, clean, and crisp. It never clips or gets harsh. The LFE does its job without question. The soundscape kicks into high gear during those scenes in which the action picks up and never intrude when there is no action. I appreciated the moments of stillness that the soundtrack provided. It made it that much more cold and desolate and to watch – very effective.

Special Features 

Kino Lorber has a tendency to skimp on special features, but Rapt did come with a trailer, stills gallery, and promotional trailers for other Kino Lorber titles. Still, skimping on special features is frowned upon in this kind of work.

  • Trailers
  • Stills Gallery

Final Thoughts  

Rapt is a taught thriller that never lets up, but on that same token slows way down for the viewer to take it all in. The last frame of the film will kick you in your private area, but then you’ll have something to talk about with the people that you’re watching it with. Rapt is smart, gripping, and very entertaining. The Blu-ray looks and sounds great, but such a shame that there are no worthy extras to speak of. I hope Kino Lorber start packing up all of their films with extras soon, because Blu-ray is a premium format and we demand the best. Anyways, Vive le Francais!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Order Rapt on Blu-ray!

 

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

1 Response to “Rapt (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Chris X

    He’s more of an Adrien Brody than a Christian Bale. The ending to this movie was quick and horrible. I give it a 2/5 stars. Great acting. Nothing else of note.