The Captive Blu-ray review
Somewhere in the middle of the woods, blanketed in snow, sits a house. Inside, the owner keeps an opera on the television. Downstairs, he has a set of surveillance feeds. Behind a door, far from the entrance, a girl named Cassandra (Alexia Fast, Jason Buxton’s BLACKBIRD) plays piano and sings.
The girl had gone missing years prior, when she was last seen in her father Matthew’s (Ryan Reynolds, THE VOICES) truck after skating practice. He only stopped in the store to get a cherry rhubarb pie and chocolate ice cream, but it was long enough for Cassandra to be abducted. It’s not long before Matthew starts being questioned and accused of the crime by a team of officer, Nicole (Rosario Dawson, SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR) and Jeffrey (Scott Speedman, who starred in the short-lived ABC series LAST RESORT), the latter intent on bringing down Matthew by pulling theories out of his rear. Also suspicious is Matthew’s wife, Tina (Mireille Enos, who stars on THE KILLING), who hides behind sunglasses in public and always seems ready to jump down his throat.
Cassandra spends much of her time holed up with her captor, Mika (Kevin Durand, FX’s THE STRAIN), who sports the exact sort of mustache you’d expect to see such a creep have. Sometimes he lets her watch the monitor that shows her mother at work. Other times, he makes her recite dreamy monologues as he watches from another room.
THE CAPTIVE is told in a non-linear fashion, which does little to enhance the story. Instead, it just seems like the structure was utilized to trick the viewer into thinking there’s more complexity than there really is. But there isn’t, and as the movie progresses and tries to get deeper—as when it introduces a disturbing plot involving a pedophile ring—the intriguing elements of grieving over the loss of a child and feeling the blame are pushed aside.
There is just not a steady pulse and the movie wanders around. The characters have vacant looks in their eyes and talk like they’re trudging through a script reading after having not eaten for three days. One of the major issues here is the miscasting of Reynolds, who doesn’t seem a proper fit for this level of dramatic material. It’s clear that Reynolds wants to be taken seriously, but he had more believable emotion as Man killed in bar in A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST.
Director Atom Egoyan (1997’s THE SWEET HEREAFTER, 2013’s DEVIL’S KNOT, which flatly covered the West Memphis Three story) does nothing creative with the material, although avid fans might argue for the structure and the cliché idea of connecting snow to death, both of which fail to add anything. This is yet another poorly conceived, boringly executed movie from a director whose best movies are far behind him.
THE CAPTIVE is the sixth effort by Egoyan to be nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
Video: 2.40:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. The high-definition transfer presents fine details, strong colors and an overall stable image.
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Subtitles in English and Spanish. The audio is also quite nice, with clean dialogue and an effective ambience.
Audio commentary with writer/director Atom Egoyan: Egoyan discusses the themes, characters, cast and more of THE CAPTIVE, as well as his own motivations and intentions.
Captive Thoughts (8:49) is a standard promotional piece, with interviews (with Egoyan, Ryan Reynolds, Mireille Enos and more), clips and on-set footage.
Deleted Scenes (13:56): There are six here, which can only be viewed as a whole.
Alternate Ending (1:51)