21 Days: The Heineken Kidnapping (EUFF) | Movie Release, Showtimes & Trailer | Cinema Online
Movie Details

21 Days: The Heineken Kidnapping (EUFF)

Set in 1983, the film is a semi-fictional account of the real-life kidnaping of Alfred Henry "Freddy" Heineken. The millionaire businessman was violently kidnaped, along with a chauffeur, from his office in Amsterdam. The two victims are then locked in soundproof cells next to each other for three weeks. They are chained to the wall and tormented while their kidnappers demand 16 million Euros.

Language: Danish
Subtitle: English
Classification: 18
Release Date: 7 Nov 2013
Genre: Thriller
Running Time: 2 Hours 7 Minutes
Distributor: FILM FESTIVAL ORGANIZER
Cast: Rutger Hauer, Reinout Scholten van Aschat, Gijs Naber
Director: Maarten Treurniet
Format: 2D

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Review
Writer: Casey Lee

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Watch this if you liked: "Ransom" and "Father's Affair".

Four low wage earners plan to kidnap a brewery tycoon after noticing vulnerabilities in his personal security. After a haphazard success, the kidnappers lock up their hostages in poorly ventilated makeshift cells with the barest necessities, while trying to squeeze a sizeable ransom from the tycoon's estate.

Based on the actual 1983 kidnapping of Dutch beer brewery tycoon Alfred Heineken and his driver, director Maarten Treurniet drives the thriller with a steady pace and it would have been a drag if he hadn't decided to turn the tables. Once the buildup takes off with its valuable hostage, we are tied down to watch from an intense stare at survival, eventually turning into an intense game of cat and mouse when it is the kidnappers' turn to survive the cage of the law enforcement that Heineken is so willing to exert any cost to tighten it upon his kidnappers. Treurniet switches the momentum and tone quite admirably but it may require some serious stamina to sit through the just over two hour long runtime to see things unfold.

While Treurniet wedges some human drama in between for us to understand the motives behind the kidnappers and the inner fears of Heineken to loosen the crank, they feel a little insincere with a helping of irony seeing as how "21 Days" is very keen to emphasise on its fictionalisation from its opening disclaimer in order to avert real lawsuits by some depicted in this adaptation of actual events. Still, they feel like necessary padding to let "21 Days" break out from the mold of other kidnap thrillers, and the point it tries to make across by the end might have just added a little poignancy about paranoia and security.

The rag tag crew of amateur kidnappers played by the main cast does an ample job as pretentious thugs, but it is Rutger Hauer who emanates with a magnetic aura through his performance as the tycoon from his captivity and into his payback. It is hard to look away from Hauer's Heineken as we sympathise with his defiance to survive his ordeal, but as the determined victim is slowly unmasked to be a grim villain after he is freed, Hauer's gradual unmasking becomes more and more apparent and terrifying that we are not sure who are we actually rooting for.

Even so, "21 Days: The Heineken Kidnapping" is an even-handed thriller as far as thrillers go, that has little else to offer other than its fictional telling of real events.


Cinema Online, 20 November 2013
   
Showtimes
 
Classification
U - General viewing for all ages
P13 - Parental guidance is advisable for children below 13 years old
18 - For 18+ with elements for mature audiences
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