Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Rating : 7/10
Release Date : January, 2008
Time : 93 minutes
Director : Pierre Morel; Writer : Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen; Music : Nathaniel Mechaly
Starring : Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Olivier Rabourdin, Gerard Watkins, Arben Bajraktaraj, Xander Berkeley

Bryan : I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.
Marko : [after a long pause] Good luck.

Every fathers worst nightmare comes true when Liam Neeson’s daughter is kidnapped and taken for the flesh trade while she is holidaying with a girlfriend in Paris. Except that Liam is a former spook, who’d quit work just to make sure he remained close to his daughter (Maggie Grace) who lived with his estranged wife (Famke Janssen) and her new husband. Liam goes after the kidnappers and is told he has only 96 hours to find her before she vanishes forever…

The film is one of the most gripping ones I’ve seen recently and it is so purely because of Liam Neeson’s character in the film and his acting. In Commando, Arnold Schwarenegger http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088944/ also has just a few hours to find his daughter in a different situation but then he goes into the overt brawn mode, blowing up battalions, firing bazookas. Liam keeps it just a little more real, just a little more mind you…

Liam is shown as an introverted soft spoken person, very grounded, calling a spade a spade, associating with his friends rarely and clearly, even though he doesn’t see his daughter a lot, his life revolves around her. He is actually conversing with her while she is kidnapped and her instructions to her are chilling yet brutally practical at the same time. His earnestness, desire to overcome all obstacles, clear focus at all times is what makes this movie tick. He communicates forlornness, sadness along with steel and cold competence all at the same time.

Kim : You don't have to worry.
Bryan : That's like telling water not to be wet, sweetie

The movie also doesn’t waste much time with the peripherals, getting to the point and staying there. Its fascinating following the path of the flesh trade. It doesn’t seem too far away from the truth. The action is slick, the camera angles interesting, the relationships and storyline taut. When he does seek help, especially from a French cop / former pal who is now stuck behind a desk job in Paris, there is not much time wasted establishing the relationship or discussing the weather / life but is straight to the point.

When things are going well, we would probably not want fatherhood tips from Liam. But if there is trouble, we would want to be like no one else but him. And that’s the power of the film, it made the whole thing seem plausible …I rarely watch films on TV actually and the irritation I felt with every ad break just reinforced why I don’t enjoy the experience even though I thoroughly enjoyed the film.


Anantha Krishna said...

Excellent review. The writing in the movie was impeccable.

dagnyfan said...

I loved what he said to the perpetrator on the phone. The father-daughter bond in "Taken" reminded me of my own with my father. I used to doubt his love (because he too was quiet) until I faced a crisis and he came through for me. Since then I have never and will never doubt it again. It is deeply satisfying to know we share this understanding.

RamtaJogi said...

I watched the movie based on your review, found it average. The main reason was that everything just falls in place for the father.

Especially at the end where the villain hangs him on some kind of pipe. He gets out of that situation with almost 'bollywood' like ease. Not for me.

Bala Girisaballa said...

i loved the movie too (last week on some channel). Liam did great.

Pradosh said...

Thanks for highlighting the movie
Your recommendation means I have to watch it ... hope I can catch the rerun of TV sometime

Sabha said...

Liked the movie very much. Thanks for letting me know.

aabhar said...

really liked the movie. more than anything else it was the simplistic approach of combining the angst of a father with great action. Proves how little application can make an ordinary story into a great motion picture.
i do a bit of writing too. do visit if time permits http://aabhardadhich.blogspot.com/