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A Stunning Film You'll Not Forget
on August 11, 2009
If there is possibly a positive result of the terrible wars that disintegrated Yugoslavia, it is that the film makers from this former nation have been facing the truths it brought them square on, and creating some of the most memorable, moving and stunning films that are being made in Europe today.
Certainly very high on the list of these remarkable accomplishments is THE TRAP, a tense, emotionally powerful study of the consequences of violence on the individual, and the way that an act against one's core principles, even for the most understandable and sympathetic reason, can begin to destroy utterly one's sense of self.
It's one thing to have a great theme for a film, it's another to be able to realize it so consistently--with deep performances, suspenseful rhythms, stunning camerawork, and a consistency of tone that equals the finest films. The only recent film I can recall that left the same sort of admiration in me is the Russian film THE RETURN -- very different in subject matter and technique, but both films share a sense of remarkable artistic integrity that is really hard to find in films today.
Another virtue that makes THE TRAP so rewarding is the tightness of the its script, and that its events move relentlessly forward like the very best thrillers. But instead of concentrating on the "adrenalin excesses" of the American models, it fixes its attention on the emotional turmoil of its hero--that turmoil is what gives the film so much of its powerful feelings, and why I want to recommend it so highly.