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The Captive – Review


Release Date: 12 December 2014 [USA]
Director: Atom Egoyan
Writer: Atom Egoyan - David Fraser
Cast: Ryan Reynolds - Scott Speedman - Rosario Dawson



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2 total ratings


Posted January 22, 2015 by

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The Captive Review:

Needless to say that Atom Egoyan is one hard-working fella : full-length films (‘Where the Truth Lies’), short films (‘Open House’), TV productions (‘The Twilight zone’), scripts (‘The Sweet Hereafter’), he managed through the years to make a name for himself in the independent scene. Always attached to this idea of independence, he wrote, produced and directed this new piece, a family drama where two parents are torn apart due to the disappearance of their daughter.

Matthew Lane (Ryan Reynolds, from ‘Safe House’, ‘Buried’, ‘Smokin’ Aces’) is the typical family man, happy with his wife Tina (Mireille Enos, from TV Show ‘The Killing’, ‘Sabotage’, ‘World War Z’) and his daughter Cassandra, but barely makes enough to scrape out a living. One day, after ice-skating practice, Matt and Cass went to buy some cherry pie for diner. Tired, Cass remained in the car while Matt went in the store, yet, when he returned to the car, Cass vanished in thin air. At the Police station, while Detective Nicole Dunlop (Rosario Dawson, from ‘Gimme Shelter’, ‘Unstoppable’, ‘Death Proof’) tries to listen to Matt’s version, and to explain him the difficulties that lies ahead of retrieving a missing child, her co-worker Detective Jeffrey Cornwall (Scott Speedman, from TV Show ‘Last Resort’, ‘The Vow’, ‘Underworld’) believes that it is Matt’s issues with money that led him somehow to sell his daughter to a pedophile ring. Of course, Matt’s anger doesn’t help him, but Dunlop stands by him. Despite of the best efforts of the force to found Cass back, she remains undetectable, and Matt and Tina slowly take part from each other, out of blame and guilt. On a regular basis, Dunlop tries to meet with the parents in order to provide a psychological support, but Matt, convince that the Police is unable to help him, continues to investigate on his own.

It is quite obvious that the simple story is quite dull, already-seen, but the narrative choice taken by Egoyan is, to my opinion, very clever. Instead of keeping a clear chronology of this tale, we have to navigate between several points of view (including the kidnapper’s, performed by a magical Kevin Durand (from TV Show ‘Lost’ and ‘The Strain’), embodied madness, a truly terrifying caracter), and in a very confused, unchronological fashion. So yes, it is confusing, but I can relate to the idea for the simple reason that, if I were, God forbid, in the same situation as Matt’s, and if I were to try and remember all the things that happened since my daughter’s abduction, would I really be able to remember everything precisely, without any kind of mixed-up things in my mind ? Of course not, and I am positive that this exercise in style offered by Egoyan is to be taken in that way.

I would, however, not agree with the way the movie ends. A bit too quick, after all the time that was necessary to get ourselves in the motion. Too quick and almost too easy, even when you can consider that all of the troubles the characters were into are not over after the movie’s last scene. It was yet a valid proof that a director can take hold of a story that was many times seen, and easily put his ideas, his improvement, his talent into it a make it a very good piece of cinema.


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Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 15.21.38

Theo Tessa
Freelance Contributor


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