Steven Shainberg’s Rupture revels in its elusive nature, as an immersive thriller that places the viewer in the protagonist’s shoes, completely unaware as to what is going on. This sets the tone for this ambitious slice of cinema, yet as with any film where the audience knows very little, there reaches a stage in the narrative where we demand answers to our (several) questions. It’s at this point the film loses its way, for loose ends begin to be tied, the flaws arrive, and they’re frustratingly unfulfilling.
Noomi Rapace plays Renee, who drops her son off at her ex-husband’s house for the weekend, only to be followed by a mysterious collective of men who stage a changing of a tyre to abduct her. Waking up in the back of a lorry, eventually Renee is taken to a mysterious facility where she is treated like a patient, with countless tests taking place, both physically and psychologically. What these tests are for, however, she doesn’t know – as she vies tirelessly to escape this compound, though the chances of doing that alive look increasingly more slim.
The film, naturally, grows somewhat absurd and overstated as the narrative needs explaining – but thankfully Shainberg has crafted his feature in such a way that he earns the viewer’s investment from the offset. Revelling in the mundane, we meet Renee as she simply goes about her day, with a prolonged first act which allows for us to get to know the protagonist, and therefore care for her survival when the time comes. The film does lag following her abduction, before a glorious sequence when she manages to escape from her confinement, using the air vents to try to free herself of this compound, becoming a suspenseful game of stealth, not to mention the palpable sense of claustrophobia that exists.
However, the film loses its way soon after, with an underwhelming finale that undoes much of the good work that preceded it. Thankfully, Rapace’s impressive performance is more consistent, and while the narrative moves between the ridiculous and the sublime, she remains a constant source of dependability, ensuring this flawed endeavour remains watchable throughout.