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Living in a world where it is often impossible to avoid the constant media buzz, one can usually have a pretty solid understanding of a film before they sit down to watch it. However recently I was subject to a film I knew absolutely nothing about aside from the title.
The Betrayed, is written and directed by Amanda Gusack. I cannot admit to having had high hopes, since the almost instant correlation to having never heard of the movie automatically caused me to assume it MUST be bad. However I must admit that I was slightly impressed by this relatively unknown movie.
The story follows a young mother and restaurant owner Jamie, played by the Angelina Jolie look-alike Melissa George, who finds herself held captive in an abandoned warehouse. There in her cell she is psychologically tortured and questioned as to the whereabouts of her husband, who may not have been the innocent family man he claimed to be, but rather a manipulative killer and high profile criminal
As if this scenario weren’t suspenseful enough, consider the unknown motives of her captor Alec, played Oded Fehr of “Mummy” fame, who serves as her makeshift warden and dare I say sympathetic protector. Alec is under orders of his enigmatic boss Falco, and quickly reveals the added danger of Jamie’s kidnapped son Michael, a diabetic who without proper supervision could die.
Throughout the movie Jamie learns from Alec, that her husband had stolen forty million dollars from Falco, a sum that if not claimed within a certain time period could result in death for everyone involved, Alec included. So she begins to search through recorded tapes from her own home as she seeks to find some clue as to her husband’s whereabouts and most importantly where he hid the money.
Where the script did manage to present a very interesting premise, one that could make any audience member connect to the protagonist’s plight, the pacing of the film managed to stagger and dissolve any sympathy. For me, there was a general want for Jamie’s freedom, unfortunately there was also a genuine desire for my personal freedom from the movie’s lengthy and poorly edited scenes. Take in to account some rather interesting subplots, one of which I felt could have served as a major drive in the film, which are passed over all to quickly, only adding to the disappointing presentation.
In regards to the cinematic composition of the Betrayed, I felt that the amateur cinematography, and uninspired musical compositions caused the overall presentation to fall short. Though at first glance they do add a very gritty and eerie feel to the film, it can be quickly realized that anything marked as genius is purely accidental.
In conclusion, if you find yourself in the mood for an interesting yet poorly paced thriller, with several missed opportunities, the Betrayed is for you. However, I would suggest this as a summer rental, as the DVD itself contains absolutely no added content, and only the usual language tracks. But please be advised, that in the end the only one betrayed here was the potential of this mediocre movie.