Thursday, November 1, 2012
"I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you"
Liam Neeson, who is playing the super daddy Bryan Mills, is saying those lines to the kidnappers of his daughter that was taken and sold to prostitution while she was visiting Paris. He is former CIA agent that is wiling to do everything that takes to revenge and find his daughter back. His ethos is boosted with confidence in his voice and profound CIA skill; moreover, he is announcing that there will be no obstacle on his way to find and revenge his daughter. This typical cliche of "overcoming every obstacles in the way" perfectly works for the movie "Taken" directed by Luc Besson. A lot of action and unpredictable plot that reveals criminal business involved in selling people industry promise an interesting movie night. In my opinion, the movie is made for mixed audience. The main actor, Liam Neeson, might be most recognizable with adults because he is an older actor that proved magnificent performance in previous roles, but the topic of the movie might be targeted to both younger and older audience; more precisely teenagers and parents. "Taken" has implied message for the audience that reveals the danger of the criminals in the selling people industry.
According to Giannetti, every film has a ideological perspective that preaches to the audience what is right and what is wrong (pg. 403). The movie "Taken" reveals the underground business of selling people industry and all the horrors that are happing to young girls. It also depicts one of the most common cases that young girls could be taken away and also reveals the identities of the people in that chain, from kidnappers to the very influential and wealthy people who run the business. Kidnappers are identified as Albanians, third world country's criminals who target and take away innocent girls. Afterward, girls are sold in prostitution for very influential and wealthy people. Albanians are the criminals at the low end of the chain that execute the dirtiest part of the "job." This characterization opens up the problematic message that "Taken" might be sending. The movie creates the stereotypes about Albanians in the eyes of the targeted audience: all Albanians are criminals that one way or another are connected with selling people industry in the world. They are responsible in the first place for kidnapping Mills' daughter, and they are the ones that are being killed by the "super daddy" at the end. In the eyes on the audience, Albanians are, throughout the movie, perceived as negative characters. This characterization might lead the audience's logic that all Albanians, as a nation in general, are criminals and no one should trust them. On the other hand, France, country were most of the action takes place, is still characterized as a beautiful place for vacation with romantic safe charm.
Overall, "Taken" is a very good action movie that incorporates intriguing plot with criminal behavior. The movie elaborately depicts the selling people industry and all of its horrors. Unfortunately, in the characterization of the scenes, Albanians are shown in very criminal and bad light, which might lead the audience's logic to connect those characteristics into reality. My overall rating is 3/5.