Saturday July 21, 2012

This French film has just opened in London. I was drawn to it for a few reasons, but particularly as I admire Kristin Scott Thomas, and I was also intrigued as to how the film would deal with Stockholm syndrome.

Following on from real life events, Stockholm syndrome has been much done, even overdone, in the world of fiction. In Your Hands is not implausible, yet for me it did not feel authentic, and as a result I struggled to connect with both the plot and the protagonists.

There are two protagonists. Anna Cooper (Kristin Scott Thomas) is a surgeon who performed a caesarean section on a young woman who subsequently died from a hospital acquired infection. The widower (Pio Marmai) seeks revenge two years later, and kidnaps Anna, although with no apparent plan as to what he would do next. It would be unfair to reveal the plot, but it is not unpredictable.

When Anna checks her voicemail after she has ‘disappeared’ for a few days, there are just five messages, two from her mother. Much emphasis is placed on her aloneness, her solitary life, and I, uncomfortably, sensed that some kind of association was being presented between Stockholm syndrome and the repressed needs of a lonely middle aged woman.

Notwithstanding, the performances of both actors are sensitive and at times compelling, even if empathy for either did not happen for me.