‘Kidnapping Stella’ Netflix Review - Unimaginative but Thrilling Kidnapping Drama
The first act of Kidnapping Stella is taut and tense
Faithfully adapted from J Blakeson’s “The Disappearance of Alice Creed”, Kidnapping Stella opens with Tom (Max von der Groeben) looking up at a plastic bag flying freely while his partner, Vic (Clemens Schick) is seen stealing a car in the background. Tom looks at it with the unwavering focus, as if it metaphorize his uncertain future. The two ex-convicts meticulously collect all the materials required for their mission; to make a secluded room soundproof; kidnap a girl without any fuss.
Tom’s emoting eyes gives an insight into his personality. He is a vulnerable person who is unsure about the plan from the beginning. He is harbouring a secret that might dislodge the well-planned kidnapping. Vic, on the other end, is not in touch with his feelings and come across as your cold brute who would not flinch to shoot if anything goes wrong.
The film-maker Thomas Sieben, popular for ‘Distanz (2009)’, is less interested in the dynamics between Tom and Vic and the whole ransom deal, and instead, nourishes the narrative with an organic development between Tom & Stella. The turn of events in the film are unimaginative and predictable but keeps you hooked to the narrative is the interpersonal and individual’s emotional arc that endanger the full-proof plan.
An underwritten character and unimaginative narrative
As the hidden motive of the characters come to surface, the plot gets murkier, and we see characters in the new light. If you have already seen “The Disappearance of Alice Creed,” then you won’t find anything new in this official remake. Thomas Sieben also includes even the most unconvincing patch in the narrative, without improving on it. The character of the Vic also underutilized in the film. The character is underwritten and used only as a conflict in the narrative. It feels derivate and forced.
‘Kidnapping Stella’ is a sleek kidnapping thriller that doesn’t waste time on extraneous subplots. It benefits from the matured performance of Max von der Groeben and Jella Haase. But it lacks in originality and solid screenwriting in the second act to fully realise the climax of the film. It could make for a solid lazy Saturday afternoon watch.