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Frantic (1988)
star Printer-Friendly version
Review Date: August 18, 2001
Director: Roman Polanski
Writer: Roman Polanski, Gérard Brach
Producers: Tim Hampton, Thom Mount
Actors:
Harrison Ford
Betty Buckley
Emmanuelle Seigner
Review:
An older couple, still in love, visiting Paris together, check into their hotel room. They giggle, they play around, they order room service. Then, the wife takes a shower. All's well. Then, Harrison Ford takes a shower (he's the husband). All's well...until he comes out of the shower to discover that his wife is not in the room. Hmmmmmm, curious....

And it only gets better from there...

Seriously though, isn't this an ultra-cool set-up? Well, I thought so...definitely! (the wife has disappeared!!) But credit Polanski for playing the movie reaaaaal slow during the first 10-15 minutes. First, you're wondering why you should give a shit about any of the small things that this couple is talking about....

But as soon as the wife disappears (and yes, she is gone without a trace from the room), you start thinking back to the film's beginning and trying to remember the little clues that might've been dropped....just like Ford's character does...and that's where the movie grabbed me...

Of course, it's also one of Harrison Ford's better "acting" performances, and if you don't mind me saying so...the man looked mighty handsome in this pic as well (nice move on the slicked hair, moochacho...it's too bad you've the whole porcupine thing happening now).

Anyway, as the story moves along, Ford is basically left to his own devices, walking around Paris all confused, asking people questions in English, trying to piece parts of the puzzle together....

But what's this...the doorman saw his wife leave with a man with his arm around her? What the f**k?!? MY WIFE'S BEEN KIDNAPPED, DAMMIT!!

Of course, very few people help the poor guy out until he falls upon Polanski's wife, oops, I mean, Emmanuelle Seigner, a local French "goto girl" with a heart of gold...

But even though the story kinda becomes obvious at some point, as the truth about the disappearance comes to the forefront...the first hour of the film is really quite tense (the second half's not bad either, it's just a little more "predictable" then the first half).

You also gotta give it to Ford for being able to provide that constant look of "what the fuck is going on around here?!?". You can actually FEEL the poor bastard simmering to a boil through every scene...

A nice little suspense movie for those who enjoy the slow burns...
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
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