Petty crime such as snatching a mobile phone or shoplifting is something which can be done on the spur of the moment; low reward but relatively low risk. Kidnapping a serving member of Parliament and holding him hostage for ransom is something which takes a bit more forward planning, but for Maggie and Brian it is enacted as a similarly opportunistic crime when the circumstances unexpectedly present themselves.
He a taxi driver and she an aspiring actress who works shifts at a hotel restaurant, fired after an altercation with local MP Richard Hardy over the wrong fish when he is on a rare visit to his constituency, when he passes out drunk in the back of Brian’s car he sees a chance which they seize, using the last of their cash to rent a property in which to hold him and record the video which they will send to Hardy’s wife; what could possibly go wrong?
It goes without saying that A Kind of Kidnapping is a black comedy, written and directed by Dan Clark and starring Double Date’s Kelly Wenham as Maggie, off her meds and acting without inhibition, Hijack’s Jack Parry-Jones as Brian, experiencing the serious crime equivalent of buyer’s remorse, and Ted Lasso’s Patrick Baladi as the odious Richard, seeking a way to turn misfortune to advantage with the cavalier disregard of a Conservative MP confronted with justifiably angry voters whom he has betrayed.
Maggie and Brian adapting to criminal life better than Richard adapts to his role as victim, she in particular thriving in an environment which allows her to improvise and allow the accumulated frustrations of life on the bottom rung of the ladder to be vented in violence and verbal fury, the first unexpected hurdle is when Richard’s wife Lyndsey refuses to pay the ransom, saying she’s quite happy for her unfaithful husband to be taken off her hands.
The expectation that their gaffer-taped guest will be arrogant and corrupt not even approaching the gloriously self-serving reality, seeing an opportunity for public sympathy and self-promotion with an eye on a bid for Downing Street Richard instead offers to become an accomplice in his own kidnapping, suggesting he quietly arrange the transfer of the ransom himself on the provision that they keep him a while longer to prolong the media coverage.
High emotion, impulsive actions and a nosy neighbour making the bad situation ridiculously worse, A Kind of Kidnapping is uneven but carried valiantly by the three principals, the precarious Airbnb of cards ready to collapse under the slightest breeze of a withering look as the classical soundtrack adds grandiose pathos to what is in essence an overblown domestic dispute from which none can walk away free of consequence.
A Kind of Kidnapping will be coming to select cinemas from Thursday 13th July for a series of special cast and crew Q & A screenings followed by a digital download release on Monday 24th July