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(Review originally written at 18 October 2006)

Movies that are based on true events are also interesting to watch, since no matter how unlikely or hard to believe everything in it is, it's still realistic since it truly happened. It makes the story as well as the movie as a whole a compelling and intriguing one.

The movie is from a technical point of view a real great one. The movie is well directed and good looking, with some good cinematography.

The acting also really helps this movie. The two main character are being played well by Ian Hart and Linus Roache, who basically for the obvious reasons have to carry the entire movie on their own. No way the movie would had worked out well with some lesser actors.

But the movie is too flawed to yet consider this a completely successful- or a must-see movie. Problem is the time-line of the movie. Keenan and McCarthy were being held captive for 4 and a halve years but the way the story is told in this movie, makes it seem rather like 2 months, at most. Things in this movie also happen too rapidly. They are being dragged from the one location to the other and get into some events that are already over before you can really start thinking about it. The movie doesn't leave the viewer enough room to think and process some of the moments. This is obviously also due to the short running time of the movie. But on the other hand it would of course be also impossible and perhaps even boring to make a 2 hour long movie about two guys who are being held captive together in a small room. So I can still understand some of the choices the filmmakers made with this movie when it comes to the storytelling and story flow. They did the best they could with the concept, without ever making the movie less interesting.

But I wish I could say that this was the only problem of the movie. The movie is also severely lacking in the right emotions and required depth. The movie doesn't ever really become personal with the two main characters and they hardly at all speak about home or their family. The movie could had been so much more powerful and emotional if it only had some better emotions and depth in it. The movie still works well on a dramatic level but not on the right level, a movie like this requires.

All of this however doesn't mean that the movie is any less interesting to watch. The movie always remains interesting throughout its running time, also due to the fact that you never know what is going to happen next. They are in a unpredictable situation and the movie does a good job at captivating this atmosphere of strange fear, companionship and hope.

The movie tells the story entirely from the point of view of the two hostages, which doesn't provide the movie with any unnecessary sequences or subplots. The movie is simple, straight-forward and exactly how a movie with a story like this should be.

The movie does feature some interesting sequences between the two hostages but also with their captivators. It gives the movie a certain extra sense of reality and helps to set up the right mood for the movie. But yet for some reason I feel that the film-makers tried a bit too hard to be political correct and to not offend any group. It doesn't exactly makes this movie the most daring or confronting movie around.

Perhaps not the must-see people make you believe it is but nevertheless a very well made movie that is definitely worth seeing.

7/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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