Where do I even begin? The Treatment is a Belgian crime thriller with very controversial themes. It’s littered with twists and turns throughout the film, but they are perfectly executed and presented in a fashion that screams of quality. They really drive the story to a more complex and much more “satisfying” finale.

Nick Cafmeyer (Geert Van Rampelberg) is a police inspector working on a case about a home invasion where a mother and father have been tied up and beaten. Their young son is abducted and still missing. The case hits extremely close to home with the inspector, as his younger brother was kidnapped in his youth. The investigation goes from bad to worse to almost unimaginable. During all of this, Inspector Cafmeyer has brief moments of hope that his brother may still be alive and pursues more leads on his possible whereabouts. These clues are given to him by the very man he knew to be his brother’s abductor, Ivan Plettinckx (Johan Van Assche).

The bleak environment that the investigation takes place in really sets the tone. The city seems lifeless, and the countryside is absent of any color, hope, or other redeeming qualities. It just seems inescapable. It sucks you into the movie and really drags you down. The main theme of pedophilia may be hard to stomach, and it certainly leads to some harsh and uncomfortable scenes. As a viewer, I felt I wanted to see the story resolve as quickly as possible.

The acting is superb. Rampelberg’s performance is powerful and really carries the film. His crusade to solve the case and make sure no one suffers a similar fate to his young brother is extremely convincing. You hurt with him. Another performance I highly valued was that of John Van Assche. He haunts Cafmeyer throughout the film by tormenting him of his younger sibling’s abduction. It’s rough, but it fuels the fire for the inspector. It’s an amazing performance of a believable psychopath.

The Treatment is not for everyone. Its tale is bleak and could be extremely overwhelming to some. As a thriller, this movie is top notch and I would recommend it to anyone who can stomach it. Its unsettling topic is only overshadowed by its hope for a resolution. With the year just about half way through, this movie is close to the top of my list for best film.