Saturday, 1 February 2014
Taken is a 2008 action thriller directed by Pierre Morel and starring Liam Neeson. Neeson plays a retired CIA agent who travels across Europe and relies on his old skills and work colleagues to save his estranged daughter, who has been kidnapped while on a trip to Paris.
Analysis of Narrative Structure
Taken is different to the other films I have previously looked at as this is the first one that is not a psychological thriller. Whilst Memento may not quite be a psychological thriller it still has main protagonist who faces a mental challenge. Taken is in fact an action thriller so its narrative structure may differ from the previous films I have talked about. Liam Neeson's character Bryan Mills faces the possible death of his daughter and so takes it upon himself to crusade around Europe in an explosive effort to find her. The people who have kidnapped Mills daughter could be seen as being stronger forces than Mills and whilst they initially have the upper hand of being able to threaten him with his daughters death, they are unaware that he is CIA trained which makes him a considerably more powerful threat to his daughters kidnappers. The main storyline is very much a character that Mills cannot and will not give up on. The mystery in this film is simply Mills daughters location and who her kidnapper are although the action in the film overshadows this and dispels the idea of the film being a 'mystery thriller'. The story is dominated from Mills point of view however their are parts when we see it from the daughters situation. Justice is a key theme although I feel that innocence is not really developed and perhaps can be applied by individual viewers. There is a mental battle between the protagonist and the antagonist, they each try to get inside each others heads to scare them off however most of the battle is between Mills and the antagonists various henchman and bad guys.
Character Study: Bryan Mills
Bryan Mills is a retired badass and simply a man on a mission to protect what he holds dear to him. He is portrayed at the start of the film as being perhaps overly protective of his daughter but the crusade he mounts to find her is just a show of his love for his daughter. He is quietly menacing throughout the film, except when he's beating up bad guys. He could be compared to John McClane from the Die Hard series, fighting to save his wife in the first film and his son in the fifth.