Frantic

Frantic ★★★½

First viewing of 2017!

FRANTIC feels like it's treading water for the first forty minutes or so, until Harrison Ford starts looking for his missing wife in earnest and delves deep into the Parisian underworld. Ford does the stolid, dogged everyman routine he does so well, bemused and increasingly frustrated by all the bureaucracy and obfuscation he finds himself up against.

A solid but not particularly remarkable entry in Polanski's impressive canon; essentially his version of THE LADY VANISHES (right down to the MacGuffin, in the form of the mysterious contents of a suitcase everyone's desperate to get their hands on), albeit shot through with a decidedly absurdist sense of humour that is very much his own, and which comes increasingly to the fore as the film progresses. As such, it's definitely one of those films that gets better as it goes along, ratcheting up the tension and the laughs until its surprisingly bleak conclusion.