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Movie Review: Stolen

Prinz Lee image

Prinz Lee wrote this review 5 years ago

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Written 3/11/10

IFC Films presents yet another interesting piece. This time around, it delivers Stolen (Originally titled Boy in the Box then Stolen Lives), a gritty straight-forward piece which challenges ones’ hopes and tolerance regarding the loss of a loved one, especially if that loved one happens to be your loving son. Minute after agonizing minute, this medium [yet no bush-beating] paced film not only sets your mind-set on a journey which taps into two different time-frames, but leaves nothing to question. With deliverance to the fullest, Stolen will more than likely leave a trail of loving parents on the edge of paranoia.

Parallel stores which depict the drama that is Stolen, originated from a screen-play written by Glenn Taranto and leads to the directorial debut of Anders Anderson.
Having no other way to explain this piece, I will summarize the film’s plot. There might be some spoilers, but I will do the best I can to avoid specifics.

Detective Tom Adkins’ (JON HAMM) son Tommy Jr. disappears on a fateful Fourth of July afternoon, and in the ensuing eight years Tom’s work becomes an obsession for him. Tom attempts to solve the case of his missing son, but his efforts have yielded only one solid suspect – an already jailed and convicted kidnapper named Roggiani, whose current sentence is on the verge of being commuted – and no concrete proof. As Tom buries himself in his work and shows no willingness to move on with his life, his marriage to Tommy Jr.’s mother Barbara (RHONA MITRA) suffers.

An early morning phone call leads Tom to the mangled remains of a young boy, buried in a box beneath the ground. At first Tom and Barbara believe that the victim could be Tommy Jr., but forensic evidence reveals that this boy was murdered 50 years prior. Driven to solve the murder as a means of exorcising his own demons, Tom uncovers the long-forgotten mystery of a man named Matthew Wakefield (JOSH LUCAS) and the disappearance of his son John (JIMMY BENNETT).

In 1958 Matthew’s wife commits suicide, and he faces a home under foreclosure and a lack of employment, as he attempts to provide for his three sons. His wife’s sister’s family agrees to take care of his two oldest boys while he attempts to establish a new life, but they cannot support John, a special needs child.

Matthew finds work at a construction site in the town of Barnstable, and his earnest, industrious nature endears him to his employer and his co-workers. However, he still has trouble finding someone to care for John, and his boss gives him an ultimatum after John spends yet another day at the site. One co-worker in particular that John befriends, Diploma (JAMES VAN DER BEEK), encourages Matthew to romance a married woman who has made advances toward him. She is Rose Montgomery (MORENA BACCARIN), and although Matthew initially proceeds with Diploma’s plan, he immediately realizes it is a mistake. Matthew leaves John in the car while he is with Rose, and it is at that time that John is abducted.

Tortured by guilt and grief, Matthew searches desperately for John, but he is unable to find him. He finds some measure of solace in Sally Ann, who becomes his second wife.

In 2008 Tom works to solve John’s murder. His tormented investigation leads him to find Matthew’s widow Sally Ann, and one of Matthew’s other sons, Luke. Through Sally Ann’s tale of Matthew’s hardship and emotional struggle so similar to his own, Tom finds some degree of comfort. Tom pieces together the evidence and concludes that Roggiani and Diploma are one and the same man, responsible for the murders of both John and Tommy Jr. In a final confrontation and interrogation with Roggiani, Tom finds the truth and the closure he has sought for so many years. Together, he and Barbara resolve to move forward with their lives.

The film as a whole serves a great purpose to not only the entire cast and their test of emotional talents, but also presents a powerful story of personal haunting, tolerance and will - Oh and it also gives us the long “awaited” return of JAMES VAN DER BEEK.



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