Pieter Jan Brugge
The Clearing (2004) is an odd film that is a bit of a thriller and a bit
of a family drama. It tells the story via two parallel threads. One shows
how a successful man was kidnapped by a failed man. As they walk through the
woods towards the gang's den, the two men discuss each other's lives.
The other thread follows the man's wife as she realizes that that her husband
has been kidnapped, as she follows the instructions of the police, as she
submits to the humiliation of revisiting her husband's adulterous relationship
with a former employee. She is a decent, honest, loving woman, and truly cares
for her man, no matter what. Despite the fact that the police suspect her
husband is dead, the woman decides to pay ransom (mostly in diamonds).
The first thread ends at night, as the kidnapper tells the wealthy man that
there is no gang and no den, and shoots him dead in the dark.
His wife delivers the briefcase following the instructions of the kidnapper,
but soon realizes that she has been fooled. Days later, the police arrest
the kidnapper, who has been making the silliest mistakes, almost as if he
wanted to be arrested. He had not even tried to run away with the diamonds.
But the kidnapper felt that he had to mail the last letter that the man wrote
to his wife. She finally gets it in the mail. It is a loving note, and she
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