When I first heard that Gemma Arterton would star in this grotty thriller, I was rather pleased as she really needed a more sophisticated role. She, herself, wants to be taken more seriously in her acting and this film definitely allows her to do that.
The DVD cover takes a snapshot of the different characters, put through a red filter and really is a simplistic one, but due to the colour of the font, does get the excitement going and is suited to the genre of the movie.
~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
Danny (Martin Compston) and Vick (Eddie Marsan) plan the perfect kidnapping. After decking out an old house and securing it, they move on to kidnap their target, Alice Creed (Gemma Arterton), a normal girl with a rich father, ties her to their reinforced bed and makes the ransom. But their plan is disrupted by the nerves of Danny, the urgency of Vick and the strength of Alice.
The film, for the first half, is extremely straight forward (slightly slow), but develops into something hugely complex and interesting when a whole lot of themes are explored, for example the relationships of the three characters. With a twist advertised, I assumed it was that Danny and Alice would run away with the money together. However, the relationship between Vick and Danny is also sexual, making it almost impossible to judge who would screw who over. This was achieved by the constant role changes throughout the film. At different points in the movie, each character seems to have the power, but is thwarted, by mistrust, persuasion and desire.
The speed at which these power plays change increases towards the end, making it anyone's game, and at one point near the end I was quite literally shocked to find the decision of one of the characters (I think this was the twist), but glad it had not finished there (which it would very well have) and instead, turned the film round 180 degrees, ending the film on a high point- of hope and freedom- hence I think the name of the film is based on what happens at the end opposed to the kidnapping of Alice Creed itself.
There are only three characters in the whole film:
Gemma Arterton- Alice Creed
Eddie Marsan- Vick
Martin Compston- Danny
Gemma Arterton does a phenomenal job as Alice, and I can only describe her as brave to take this on. Whilst it doesn't require her to learn many lines, everything comes through her body language and expression and she is completely believable and genuine throughout. I mean, she was made to pee in a bottle!
Having not heard of either Eddie Marsan or Martin Compston before, their characters complimented each other in terms of "good cop, bad cop" and the fact that one of them is stronger and the other weaker. None of them really amazed me in terms of their acting compared to Gemma Arterton, but they did their job well.
The nudity required of the characters were not 100% necessary, but did add to the grottiness of this movie, the style of which definitely did make it more impactual.
For such a [low budglet] looking film with just three cast members, The Disappearance of Alice Creed not only succeeds as a film for entertainment purposes, but challenges and explores the themes of relationships, sex, roles of power and greed. I like that aspect of the film; you really don't know who will succeed as it changes throughout the movie. A tense and exciting thriller that picks up pace as it progresses. For such a grotty film, it ends off phenomenally on a positive note that I'm sure would please movie-goers.