With the tragedy of a Lifetime movie and the heart-warming, coming-to-Jesus conclusion of a Hallmark film, “Captive” presents a storyline for a variety of audiences to latch onto.
The thriller is a welcome from seasoned director Jerry Jameson. Based on true events, “Captive” follows the story of Ashley Smith (Kate Mara), a single mom struggling with a meth addiction as she is held captive by Brian Nichols (David Oyelowo), a killer on the loose.
The opening scenes of the movie highlight both characters and their individual lives. Neither character is particularly likeable. As their characters are holed up together, Mara and Oyelowo create a dynamic that breathes
life into their stifled roles. This, however, isn’t totally satiable. Throughout the film, Oyelowo’s character is portrayed as ruthless and dangerous, but the depth of the plot humanizes him in a way that makes the viewer feel compassion for him though he has committed heinous crimes. I suppose that is a compliment to the script and acting, but it is unsettling to feel sorry for a killer.
Likewise, Mara’s character seems hopeless. She captures the essence of a woman who’s at her wits’ ends when tragedy hits. Mara does an excellent job of portraying a woman who needs help but isn’t ready for it. As the characters progress through the night, the relationship becomes more than merely attacker and victim. The depth of their relationship could have been the result of theatrical leisure,
but it worked well to create a connection between the audience and the characters.
The camera angles and color of the film lacks that of a high- budget Hollywood film, which helps to create a truer real-life feel. This can also be attributed to the fact that it is a result of the movie’s aim to be a faith- based film. It feels like a thriller but with a Christian book “The Purpose Driven Life” at its center. The characters have deeper discussions about purpose and redemption. Yet, with the content and themes, “Captive” doesn’t fall into the usual genre of Christian films.
While I’m sure “Captive” isn’t on its way to winning an Academy Award, in its essence it creates believable characters and remains engaging for the better part of its length