Tribeca 2017: Take Me
A kidnapping story that manages to transcend its familiar and simple premise, Take Me is an engaging comedic thriller that uses its micro-sized structure to great effect.
Ray Moody (Pat Healy) is an entrepreneur behind Kidnap Solutions LLC, a business where people pay him to get abducted and tortured as an extreme means of dealing with various personal problems, hoping to use scare tactics to alleviate their shortcomings. We first meet Ray as he attempts to take a loan out to legitimize his business, but it results in the type of reaction most would expect from being told about his line of work. Struggling to get by, he receives an offer for $5,000 for an entire weekend-long session from a woman, Anna St. Clair (Taylor Schilling) who is asking for a few special requests beyond what Ray is accustomed to.
Once the plot of Take Me sets into motion, we get a battle of wills between Ray and Anna, once Anna claims to haven't arranged for Ray's services, and the police begin to look for her at the same time. Ray's personal and professional life get mixed up, as he drops the guise of being a kidnapper and Anna begins to interrogate him for his deeds and believing that he is making a difference in people's lives. The story continually escalates, and its one that belongs in the same wheelhouse as the Healy-starring Cheap Thrills, another comedic-thriller dealing with a series of similar anxieties.
Take Me succeeds from having an excellent screenplay (coming from Mike Makowsky) that puts its characters front and centre, continually raising the stakes and refusing to compromise for the sake of convention. Being Healy's directorial debut, the man clearly does an admirable job in constructing such an engaging narrative in addition to excelling from an acting standpoint as Ray. Just as well, its interesting to watch Schilling's Anna move from being a helpless figure to one taking action against Ray's exploits (some of which turn near-fatal), and its a testament to her range as a performer when we see what lengths she's willing to go through.
Some will see the conclusion coming a mile away, but its less about where the narrative arrives than how it manages to get there, and Healy manages to surprise in how he crafts a solid indie film with only a few characters and locations. Opening in theatres and on digital platforms on May 5th, Take Me is sure to be a summer sleeper hit.