Review: Reckless

Reckless is the inverse of what we normally see as it is a foreign language remake of an English language (British) film, called The Disappearance of Alice Creed. Seeing as how comparative analysis is not something slipped into lightly here, I can only state in the interest of full disclosure that I never did get to see the original. However, a review is self-contained and it is not incumbent on a film to justify its existence in relation to a prior rendition of the same tale. It only matters if it justifies its existence on its own merits. Just recently I happened to see a remake and only became aware of it after the fact.

Reckless is the first title from Artsploitation Films that I had the pleasure to see. Like many independent distributors this company has a specific an precise credo that pulls into focus the kind of film niche they seek to fill. Theirs is one I readily identify with with:

Not strictly a genre label, ARTSPLOITATION FILMS looks for intriguing, unsettling, unpredictable and provocative films from around the world. Artsploitation’s focus knows no boundaries and we hope you’ll enjoy our unconventional cinematic tastes.  Artsplotation: International films with an edge.

That ethos is readily apparent if one synopsizes the film; it tells the tale of Victor (Tygo Gernandt) and Rico (Marwan Kenzari) who met in prison believe they have picked a perfect target for their kidnapping-for-ransom plot, Laura (Sarah Chronis), but secrets about the plan and the identity of the girl could unravel their plot in unexpected ways.

Reckless has a rather deceptive outward appearance. The bare facts belie the intricate web of interpersonal relationships that are motivating the plot. For as unsettling a scenario as it is it is a film that is not impelled by shock value or cheap sensationalism, but rather how these extremes in setting, situation, and circumstance put a strain on both the relationship between the kidnappers and on how they relate to their captive.

Sure there are many stories that breed discomfort and fright and the envelope does get pushed to a degree but never to the detriment of narrative progression. The film is tightly edited, artfully styled, and precisely acted ; and so organically such that the overtures at elevating more base story elements doesn’t feel disjointed.

The film is one rife with twists each of which further elevates the stakes, intensity and suspense of the proceedings. None of them seem out of place and things resolve themselves naturally and correctly based on the momentum accumulated leading up to the climax. It’s not a case where the ending needs to be forced to satisfy audience expectations, but really feels like the only one that is just.