The Treatment (2014)

Le thriller shoc | 130 minutes
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Your true beliefs are known in agony

Hans Herbots De Behandling (The Treatment) is a perturbing anxious fare and deceitfully styled with all its Nordic noire flavour in cachet of dark, complex crime thriller. This Belgian adaptation of British author Mo Hayder’s novel is intense and restrained. You tend to sense the complexity in between an old-fashioned whodunnit Agatha Christie above the intricate and tenacious themes of sexual violence and paedophilia spirals it a raw blend. The beauty is this film combines the plot of two books from the same author- The Treatment and Birdman to prodigious effect and generates a spell- binding tale of undoubted propensity and inner turmoil along the lines of Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners; Bong Jun Hoo’s Korean film Memories of Murder and David Fincher’s Seven

 The film has all the appetite of being virtually sombre. As an audience you feel deep in a pit of your intestinal twists and interlace the melancholic mystery around your mild nerves. The screenplay by Carl Joos is rather interesting and before envisaging the idea of making this film and his meeting with the producer Peter Bouckaert to choose any book to adapt into a film script- Joos knew immediately that he wanted to adapt something by the famous British crime writer Mo Hayder. “Her books are not only well crafted and very intelligent, but on an emotional level, they really get to me.” He says. Combining with the director Hans Herbots was another memorable part of this film, and the story design of the crime and its intricacies of the relationships through the several plot lines were always going to be audacious. “If you get that kind of proposal – pick any book – you’re not going to pick an easy one. You want something to chew on.”

Another interesting facet here is Herbot ensures that you are glued to your seat in a rather unsettling situation and also provokes what his antagonist is capable of, in appealing levels of social danger and horror in the neighbourhood. Precisely blends together for what becomes a heavy weight upon our chest, one that boils our blood and has us screaming for justice and unwrap a brief glimpse into the world of officers who are forced to re-live these cases’ day in and day out.

Geert Van Rampelberg plays Nick Cafmeyer, the tormented cop is the centrefold of the story and spreading an unknown cast sets the film into a disturbing layer of incest that gets under your skin and through the nightmares of protagonists unpleasant boyhood lives in an ancestral home, from where many years ago, witness his brother abducted by a paedophile, never to be seen again. As you would have thought Nick is a cop now. In his professional probe of crime cases often remind him of his brother. He meets a new case where a child abuser called the Troll imprisoned at the first sight of fragile evidence. This suspect would keep terrifying Nick showing up near his house even years later.  The sick freak would not break the law in each case and just let Nick know that he was there.

In a horrid paedophile case that inappropriately hits close to home- Nick leads the investigation and consigns his interest upon to investigate a brutal attack on a family, which has resulted in the abduction of their son. This case reminisces Nick’s traumatic infantile of his abducted brother Bjorg. The flashbacks echo of his brother and the metaphor of disappearance startling are superbly captured and intoxicating in its muted lucidity. One of the indispensable sequences is the railway track cutting through the countryside and his villa. The frequent appearance of a plunging train illustrates the fact that Nick and his insistent guilt he feels over his hopelessness to prevent the crime is ruthlessly visualized. The images are dodged to the great effect, and in interpreting the distressing impact of childhood guilt is emotionally quaking

The axis centre of the criminal is clear-cut ludicrous and monstrous villain named Troll. His representation during the act with the kids executes greater shock. Some vexatious in the form of images and sexual dismemberment bodies of under-aged victims are the clear expression with absolute disgust every time we see on screen. The unexpected turn during new suspicion untangles agony and Nick’s own motivations turn impossible to understand. So on it grips you instantaneous, that one is caught frightened and even goes decently insane. Such is Herbot’s approach of forcing the audience to stay at the moment.

Shove away your night after watching The Treatment, since this is the kind of film that troughs every ounce of moral faith. It’s an outstandingly made film-For example that ear sharp sound design, which does make raucous even with the ooze of water in the pool. The cinematic profuse is neatly dispensed both through the actors and through lighting and shots, everything weighed down with what the characters are experiencing. Van Rampelberg conveys a merited strength to his character Nick. He offers multi-layered performance through the throng of shades which is brilliantly contrasted and besides underestimate the rare tears of man, as far that’s always a sign that he has lost hope, out of options and more dangerously has nothing to lose.

Director Herbot’s stealthy and bellicose tension is rife and forefront of every shot, assisted by portentous music that sense the tormenting trends, grasp the wound in stillness and touch the scars unhealed. There is no need to say how it’s underdone and through each outrageous factor of impulse and epitome, the result is spirited with a brilliant crew in an unsettling fare are far-reaching. Frankly you’ve got the ensuing chilling crime masterpiece with this film that sticks with the audience for days subsequently. Truly spellbinding, worth a watch

Film Crew

  • Director: HANS HERBOTS
  • Screenplay: CARL JOOS
  • Based on the novel ‘The Treatment’ by van Mo Hayder
  • Producer: PETER BOUCKAERT | EYEWORKS FILM & TV DRAMA
  • Cast: Geert Van Rampelberg, Ina Geerts, Johan van Assche, Laura Verlinden, Dominique Van Malder & Roel Swanenberg
  • Photography: FRANK VAN DEN EEDEN
  • Editor: PHILIPPE RAVOET
  • Music: WIEGEL, MEIRMANS & KLAASSEN

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