Secuestro Express (18)

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The Independent Culture

A "secuestro express" is the fast food of kidnapping. Instead of taking an heiress hostage after weeks of planning, the perpetrators grab their victims at random off the streets of Caracas, and return them within a few hours if their relatively low ransom demands are met. Jonathan Jakubowicz's nerve-frying debut depicts such a kidnapping with appropriately in-your-face energy, but there's a surprising number of twists and turns in the narrative, plus a dose of political commentary. When a yuppie couple, Mia Maestro and Jean Paul Leroux, are bundled into a car after a night of clubbing, one kidnapper states that anyone who flaunts their wealth when "half the city is starving" is asking for trouble. If there's any black humour in Secuestro Express, it stems from the sheer quantity of crime in a town which makes Sin City look like Camberwick Green: you can get mugged by one crook while you're in the middle of being kidnapped by another.