Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Cine Europa 14
Cinema 1, Shang Cineplex

This Danish film explores the consequences of living one's life based on a lie and how eventually that lie comes back to haunt your 'perfect' little existence.

Feisty Danish journalist Rikke Lyngvig (Iben Hjejle) is in Afghanistan for a report when she is captured by Islamic terrorists. They use her as a pawn to force the government of Denmark to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan. When their demands aren't met, the Taliban decide on slow torture before her execution. For the next ten days, they will cut off one of her fingers and send the footage of it to the western media.

A member of the group who abducted her is Nazir, a young man who became a Taliban after tragedy struck. His father was killed by U.S. soldiers in the Afghanistan war and his uncle, a Taliban member forced him to join them in their cause of Islamic revolution.

The film takes off when Nazir decides to help Rikke escape with the condition that she lies to everyone by saying that she knocked him out and escaped on her own. Then the movie shifts gear, going from exciting thriller to a slow paced tale about Rikke's return to work in Denmark.

The latter part of the film goes up a notch when Nazir shows up in Denmark to seek asylum. In no time, the whole lie that made Rikke a best selling author is put on the line. Will she be able to help Nazir, as he helped her, or will he be tried as a terrorist?

"The Escape" thrives on an intelligent script that smoothly integrates several plot lines. The bleak cinematography as well as the slow pace of the film can be a bit boring. But a terrorist thriller from a non-US perspective about war torn Afghanistan is quite an intriguing story. How Denmark handles refugees, extradition, and terrorism are contemplated using scenes involving talk shows, and news reports.

The unexpected open ended conclusion may raise a few questions but overall "The Escape" is a watchable thriller.

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