Frantic/movie review

Frantic is a French-American movie that takes place in the Paris of the late 80 s.

The viewer will recognize Roman Polanski s specific touch: the movie is suspenseful and full of mystery.

Doctor Walker, an American citizen, comes to Paris with his wife Sondra for a medical conference. While he is showering at his luxury hotel, his wife suddenly disappears, leaving her husband clueless. After some further investigations and the testimony of several witnesses, Dr Walker realizes that his dear wife has been kidnapped.

Facing trouble with the usual administrative slowness and lack of seriousness, Dr Walker decides to proceed to his own investigation. His only clue: the luggage that has been mixed up by mistake and that was supposed to be his wife s. Dr Walker opens it, in search for an address or a phone number, which leads him to the Blue Parrot ( a bar), where he is looking for Dede, the man mentioned on the box of matches contained in the suitcase.

After a quite comical scene during which Dr Walker s words are mistaken and a client proposes him to find the White Lady (another name for cocaine), Dr Walker eventually manages to get Dede s address. But it is too late to talk to Dede: the man is lying dead on the floor, in a bloodbath.

Coming out of Dede s appartment, Dr Walker meets Michelle, the young girl that is indirectly linked to Walker s wife s kidnapping.

Dr Walker and Michelle are bent together for a succession of life threatening adventures, including the recuperation of a little statue of liberty from Michelle s suitcase that accidentally landed on the roof.

The movie has a happy ending with a tragic note: Walker will manage to recuperate his wife, but a bullet will cut young Michelle s life short near the Seine.

Two actors, Harrison Ford in the role of Walker, and Emmanuelle Seigner in the role of Michelle, are excellent in their interpretation. The dramatic dimension of the movie is compensated with some good notes of humor.

Globally, the movie is highly enjoyable.

People who are fluent in English and French will certainly enjoy the French/ American cultural mix up in a Parisian atmosphere. This film is truly a must see!

Copyright © 2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

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