The Captive (2014)

The Captive (2014)
  • Time: 113 min
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Director: Atom Egoyan
  • Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Scott Speedman, Rosario Dawson


Teenager Cassandra is locked up against her will unable to contact her family to let them know she’s still alive. Flashback to eight years ago when 9-year-old Cass was abducted from her father’s truck and he goes straight to the authorities who immediately peg him as the prime suspect. Eight years later, her father, Matthew, is still being investigated by the police who are also trying to crack the bigger problem of crimes against children, Matthew’s marriage has deteriorated and leads in the case are hard to come by. So much time but so little has changed and it’s going to be up to Matthew and Cassandra herself to repair the estranged family.

One comment

  • “The Captive” directed by Canadian writer/director Atom Egoyan is a movie set in wintery Canada and tells a story of abduction of a young girl from the back seat of the van of her father (Ryan Reynolds). Now, what sets this film apart from similar movies of this same subject like “Ransom” which was much more action based is a subtle way Egoyan chooses to tell this story going more towards of drama rather then offering viewer cheap trills. Also interjection of a pedophile angle might make some viewers uncomfortable. It takes a while to get into but once the narrative ground work is done we as audience are engaged and want to find out what will happen in the end. The action of the film spans through 8 years where we witness the degradation and changes in all the characters involved. For a movie with a heavy subject like kidnapping and pedophilia provided by higher society class of the so called 1% of the wealthiest people where as in this story it is a tradition that has been kept and passed on through the generations to victimize little children who are prone to be abused.

    “Eight years after the disappearance of Cassandra (Alexia Fast), some disturbing incidents seem to indicate that she’s still alive. Police, parents and Cassandra herself, will try to unravel the mystery of her disappearance.”

    There is no mystery here, who’s done it and why. We get the full picture on the motivation of all the involved characters. This is why the movie is going towards drama instead of creating more suspense and the anticipation for the audience. This is where I think Atom Egoyan went wrong with it. By allowing on too much exposition he elevated the integral part of any thriller where we as the audience want to know who has done it and why. In “The Captive” we know pretty much from the beginning who is responsible, what is their motivation and we slowly suspect how the movie might end. And that’s not good being 112 minutes long it can be a long time to sit through a movie that we pretty much know how it will end. But, perhaps the ultimate fault of “The Captive” lays in showing too much. The stakes are getting lowered and once that happens we start to look at the watch thinking when will this movie end. “The Captive” had a great promise but ultimately the execution was just not strong enough and none of the very good performances from all the actors will not fix that fact. I think that this film might go to DVD despite stars like Ryan Reynolds and Rosario Dawson are doing their best to engage us. Above all I think there is a one very strong performance of an underrated actress Mireille Enos (Sabotage, World War Z) who in some way steals the movie in terms of performance. There is something damaged about her that translates well in to the performances she creates. Here she is mother who lost her child stroked with bitterness and grief. Each scene that she is in is one of the most memorable ones. I suppose Kevin Durand who plays the pedophile handler Mika (I met him once in L.A Fitness, he is a big dude in real life) might get some attention but his performance feels to stylized and forced to be truly appertained. Due to the fact that this film is full of good actors perhaps it is being judged a little bit harsh then if it would be full of unknowns. All the ingredients were there to make this film being truly special but perhaps the cook (director) or the kitchen (location) or the recipe (script) did not deliver the meal (end product) that after its consumption (watching) you feel truly satisfied. All in all I would advise to see this film on DVD rather to spend money to see it on a silver screen.
    (******1/2 out of 10)
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