Every Parent Around the World Will Relate to Halle Berry’s ‘Kidnap’
Shot on location in New Orleans, the new thriller, ‘Kidnap,’ starts out during a typical afternoon in the park. The idyllic afternoon soon turns into a nightmare for single mom Karla Dyson (Halle Berry) when her son suddenly disappears. Without a cell phone and realizing she has no time to wait for police help, Karla jumps in her car and takes off in pursuit of the kidnappers. As the relentless, edge-of-your-seat chase ensues, Karla risks everything to avoid losing sight of her son.
The story behind the release of ‘Kidnap’ might be almost as gripping as the film itself. The film was produced in 2014 and picked up by Relativity Studios with an October 9, 2015, release in mind. However, in 2015, the parent studio of the film’s distribution company, Relativity Media, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In July, 2015, Relativity pushed back the film to February 26, 2016, because of the company’s financial crisis, before being re-scheduled once again to May 13, 2016, then December 2, 2016, and then again for March 10, 2017.
With Relativity’s financial woes, over 40 films were sitting on the shelf in distribution purgatory. Other Relativity films caught in limbo were the Kate Bosworth and Thomas Jane film, “Before I Wake,’ and the Zach Galifianakis/Kristen Wiig heist comedy, ‘Masterminds.’ Both of those films managed to finally secure releases in 2016. After many fits and starts, ‘Kidnap’ is finally seeing its theatrical light of day.
We’ve seen action films before where a child is in danger. Unlike the ‘Taken’ films for instance, a female character is literally taking the wheel as the protagonist. Berry was impressed with the director’s sensitivity to a very female point of view. “The action is so testosterone-driven and so male, but Karla is reacting as a mother. [Director] Luis [Prieto] found a way to meld the two elements. That’s not easy to do.”
Every child is taught about stranger danger and deservedly so. In the United States alone, over 20,000 children are reported missing annually. Though not a central theme of ‘Kidnap’s’ plot, human trafficking is an alarmingly huge human rights issue that is alluded to in the film. Human trafficking is a $32 billion a year industry. Of the millions of people trafficked every year, around half are children. Human trafficking is not only bigger than illegal arms dealing, but it will soon overtake drug dealing in terms of financial impact. These statistics will give any parent pause. And what parent wouldn’t do everything in their power to protect their children?
Berry, herself a mother of two, describes her character as an average mom who must do something extraordinary to save her child. “I think every parent around the world will relate to the superhuman strength she is capable of when her child is in jeopardy.”
‘Kidnap’ opens in theaters Aug. 4.