Listen. There’s simply no way to really dig into the excellent film “The Disappearance of Alice Creed” without giving so much away that it would basically render watching the film pointless. In light of that, I’ll skirt the down and dirty details and replace them by saying that if you like topsy-turvy storylines, high drama, outstanding acting and taut tension, just stop reading this review and go see the film as soon as possible. If I’ve piqued your interest just enough that you have to keep reading, at least do not read anything else about the film and for God’s sake, do not watch the trailer which will also ruin the whole shebang. Still with me? O.K.
I didn’t know a thing about “The Disappearance of Alice Creed” going into the screening and I’m glad I didn’t. Still, even had I known a few key points, I wouldn’t be ready for what actually transpires. The film starts as two shady characters board up windows, change locks and tack up soundproofing in a dingy apartment. Wordlessly they construct their own Fort Knox and for a good five to ten minutes, we don’t know why. Soon they’re on the move and kidnap a young woman who they tie, ball-gag and drag back to the newly formed cell. Nary a word has been spoken and already the plot is fully in motion but viewers have no real sense of what’s going on. Is this a torture porn? Is it a revenge plot? We just don’t know and this adds a creepy, confusing element to the film.
We soon learn the kidnappers are Danny (Compston) and Vic (Marsan) and they’ve snagged a girl (Arteton) with a very, very rich daddy. Vic is the man with a plan and Danny is the subordinate and that’s all I’m going to say about the plot aside from, it’s never what you expect.
One tiny drawback is that the film is a wee bit stagy as it’s three people, in basically two-three locations throughout. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if the film was conceived as a stage play at some point. But the slight staginess and the very last 30 seconds of the film are the only quibbles I have overall and even my issues there are minor ones. The story is so well told you completely forget the lack of locations as the plot unfolds and this seamlessness is due to killer performances by all three actors. While Marsan will deservedly get the most accolades for this film, both Compston and Arteton deserve props for playing their roles more than capably and close to the vest. Obviously we know the plan won’t go as planned because if it did, what fun would that be? But wondering how it’s going to fall apart (or if it truly will) and then seeing what happens next is intense and all three actors deserve kudos for a thrilling ride.
I really can’t say enough great things about “The Disappearance of Alice Creed” yet I also really can’t say much more. Go see this film!