Inspired by the 1978 kidnapping of French titan of industry Baron Edouard-Jean Empain, Rapt, set in the present day, hopes to cash in on class rage. The film’s first five minutes establish the egomaniacal pace of scion Stanislas Graff (Yvan Attal), the head of an unnamed company: He shuttles from the boardroom to the apartment he bought solely for trysts to dinner with the family to a high-stakes poker game before being abducted the next morning on his way to the office. His kidnappers demand 50 million euros, severing one of the tycoon’s digits to prove they mean it. During Stanislas’s two months in captivity, his board of directors squabbles over providing the ransom money, particularly after his bed-hopping and gambling habits are leaked to the press; at home, his wife (Anne Consigny) and mother (Françoise Fabian) exchange frosty insults. Writer/director Lucas Belvaux, best known for 2002’s Trilogy, stages Stanislas’s imprisonment tautly; Attal is impressive as a king of the world now reduced to total abjection. Rapt falters, however, as a tale of comeuppance. The growing disgust of both his family and business associates, all hazily drawn, may knock the magnate down, but it’s a limp substitute for the public fury that still burns after the fall of 2008.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 6, 2011