Review: The Treatment

The Treatment is a visceral, engaging and gut wrenching thriller of the first degree that will keep you on the edge of your seat right until the very end.

The film follows Inspector Nick Cafmeyer who works in the vice squad. He is haunted by the unsolved disappearance of his younger, 9 year old brother Bjorn and the guilt he feels. He is reminded of this constantly as Plettinckx, a known sex offender who taunts Nick. At the same time, there is the fresh disappearance of a 9 year old boy that Nick must solve. a As Nick uncovers more about what happened to his brother he starts down a path that is morally ambiguous and potentially dangerous. Does he really care what is right or wrong anymore?

The Treatment is directed by Hans Herbots. The screenplay is written by Carl Joos based on the book of the same name by English writer, Mo Hayder. The original setting for the book was London although this is moved to Antwerp in Belgium. The film tackles the very difficult subject matter of child abuse. It leaves you speechless and the director Hans Herbots is brave and daring in his direction. There are certain scenes that are shocking and graphic and left me questioning whether or not they needed to be included. However, that is where the film’s intensity lies in some of the more shocking scenes. Geert Van Rampelberg through a powerful and nuanced performance conveys the brooding and dangerous nature of Nick Cafmeyer on screen. The cinematography is wonderful: just because it is ugly subject matter it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a feast for the eyes and that is exactly what it is.

Good films should have an emotional impact. The Treatment delivers an emotional heavy weight fighter punch of an impact and so it should. The subject matter of the film is not easy. Looking beyond that, this is a great film and a daring one too. I can’t imagine any Hollywood studios would not remake this film or if they did it would be greatly sanitised. The Treatment is not a popcorn movie though, it demands a good measure of whisky (or whatever your poison is) after viewing. Go and see this film, it is one of the best thrillers you’ll see all year.

The Treatment is released on 21 August nationwide.

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