In 1983, Dutch businessman, chairman and CEO of the Heineken beer company, Freddy Heineken, was kidnapped by a group of men all bent on making a quick buck. Their scheme was almost a complete success as they were paid the largest ransom for a single person (35 million Dutch guilders or a little more than $17 million American dollars) but were caught later on. The new film Kidnapping Mr. Heineken presents this odd caper in a manner that is light, well-acted and peppered with the occasional comedic moment. It’s a movie that doesn’t really take itself seriously and makes the actual kidnapping seem like a mere punch line. Having said that, however, the film is average at best and should be seen for the solid acting contained within if not for anything else.
Mental illness is something covered in film pretty extensively. The human mind is so complex that those who are considered “insane” provides for some of the very best of cinema. The new thriller Stonehearst Asylum tackles the subject of insanity in a very dark and at times, disturbing way. The film has a fantastic cast and a gritty feel and originality that few thrillers these days possess. That originally, however, stems from Edgar Allan Poe whose short story The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether serves as Stonehearst Asylum’s primary inspiration.