Alice Creed is the daughter of a millionaire. One day, she is unexpectedly kidnapped by two men; Vic, a hardened professional, and Danny, his newbie accomplice, who hold her bound and gagged in order to get two million pound in ransom money from her father.

The Disappearance of Alice Creed is a British thriller released in 2009 and features only those three characters: Alice, Vic and Danny. The film is the directorial debut of J Blakeson who also wrote the script. It is a very simple storyline, a simple kidnap and hostage situation which Blakeson tries to complicate a little bit but never really succeeds in doing so. Despite this, though, The Disappearance of Alice Creed is still a fantastic example of British film at its best. Gemma Arterton puts in a great performance and at times it really is heartbreaking to watch her as she cries and begs for her freedom, it’s really quite a harrowing performance in places. Eddie Marsan and Martin Compston as Vic and Danny respectively both put in a performance enough to hold the audience’s attention; Compston is given the most complex character (in more than one way) but is probably the worst actor of the three in the final piece.

The film opens very well with about five or so minutes of silence as the two kidnappers prepare a holding room and get ready for the kidnap and from this little sequence the audience is immediately gripped. Then we see Alice Creed brought into the holding room and their first treatment of her is just as gripping as the minutes that precede it. Unfortunately the excitement level drops in the middle of The Disappearance of Alice Creed but this is not completely unexpected considering really, there is only so much you can do in a film with only three characters. But as the deadline to the payment comes even closer and the kidnappers begin to feel the tension and anxieties about their partners and Alice herself the film pumps the stakes higher and the adrenaline returns to the top level. We are treated to suspense and tension throughout the hour and a half.

I was always interested to see this film because of the fact it featured only three characters, which means you are limited to a maximum of only three different types of character interaction but that doesn’t seem to be a problem that phases The Disappearance of Alice Creed. The writing is excellent, the direction is fantastic and the actors put in good performances. It is handled well and will keep your attention from start to finish.

Behind the glitz and glamour of Hollywood it’s nice to return to the basics and watch a very good and very interesting British film.

Advertisements