24 Days: Kidnapping, Torture, and Acts of Barbarity

The myriad of characters and the focus on the family and police creates a crime thriller that plays like a Law & Order episode. Even the sound bridge motif played across fade-out/fade-in transitions is eerily similar to the show. The movie is pockmarked with explosions of emotion and carries a distinct sense of dread, unlike your run-of-the-mill cop show. The tone pervades the film from beginning to end, giving the audience that “yeah but…” feeling, as in “yeah, but…I know how this all ends”.  Dread gives the filmmaker permission to skip on the gore and focus on the psychological toll of the characters, which is more than enough. Ruth Halimi is focused on in particular, clearly unable to cope with her inability to help her only son.

The psychological intensity of their plight is articulated visually by tight, intimate shots on the characters. Quick cuts and fast pace keeps the story rolling visually. The endless ringing and buzzing of phone calls throughout the film only adds to vibe that these characters are losing it. Django only communicates via phone and calls incessantly, oftentimes to scream at someone and then hang up.

Despite some questionable voiceover and covering a potentially incendiary topic, 24 Days cuts deep in a straightforward manner. This is one of those films that simply presents an event as it happened, carried by a cast with credits longer than my arm. Expect a good crime thriller that focuses on the psychology of the characters during a horrifying event.