The Disappearance of
is British writer/director J Blakeson's first feature film. Shot on
location in the Isle of Man, with only three characters, its a
psychological thriller guaranteed to keep you guessing till the end.
starts with two men, twenty-something Danny (Martin Compston) and the
older Vic (Eddie Marsan), stealing a van. At a supermarket, they buy a
power drill, a mattress, large plastic sheets, and a variety of other
items. In a small flat, they methodically go about assembling a bed, and
sound proofing the walls and windows.
appointed time and place, they pull up on a street corner, put on
balaclavas, and suddenly grab a young woman, Alice (Gemma Arterton),
shoving her into the back of the van. They drive to the flat, where
she's stripped, and carefully hand-cuffed to the bed. The men's plan is
simple: demand a ransom of £2 Million from the girl's wealthy father in
return for her release.
sounds like a simple plot becomes more complicated by the minute, with
twists and turns at every corner. Just when you think you figured the
next move, think again.
three protagonists in the film, choosing the right actors would
obviously have been a make or break decision for Blakeson, especially
for a low-budget film, with an extremely tight shooting schedule.
to say Blakeson has succeeded brilliantly; the casting is absolutely
perfect. The choice of Scottish-born Compston as the confused and
somewhat disturbed Danny is inspired. 2010 has been a big year for
Compston, with four completed films, and four others in pre-production.
his success as John Houseman in Me and Orson Welles, Marsan once
again, provides a solid and entirely credible performance as the prone
to violence and unpredictable Vic. This acclaimed British actor has gone
from strength to strength since his appearance in Martin Scorsese's
Gangs of New York (2002). However, it is the feisty Ms. Arterton in
the title role who steals every scene.
Creed represents a challenging but welcome break for Arterton from her
recent roles. After her appearance in Quantum of Solace in 2008,
she seemed to be typecast in fantasy/adventure roles, with films such as
St Trinian's II: The Legend of Fritton's Gold, Clash of the
Titans, and, The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time; all
The Disappearance of Alice Creed
is an emotionally charged experience. Above all, it's a highly
entertaining film that should please fans of spare, claustrophobic
independent filmmaker Blakeson, it's a commendable first effort into
feature films, following his previous two short films, Pitch Perfect
(2005), and The Appointment (2009).
With top notch performances by the cast, beautiful camera
work by cinematographer Philipp Blaubach, and 98 minutes of pure
suspense, The Disappearance of Alice Creed is a winner.