Film Review: “Captive” (2015) ★★★

Photo by Photo credit: Evan Klanfer - © 2015 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
Photo by Photo credit: Evan Klanfer – © 2015 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

In March of 2005, Brian Nichols escapes prison after killing a sheriff deputy, court reporter and the judge assigned to his case. Shortly after, he breaks into Ashley Smith’s apartment, a single mother struggling with drug addiction, and keeps her in captive for almost seven hours. As the police search for the dangerous and armed fugitive, Ashley Smith must find a way not to give up hope that she will make though this nightmare alive. Based on a true story.

Film begins with Ashley Smith who enjoys her company with her adorable daughter. But soon, her sweet memory will bring her back to reality, where she sits in a addiction recovery group; broken, vulnerable but not hopeless. Meantime, Brian Nichols attacks the sheriff’s deputy in the Fulton County Courthouse and sends her into coma. Having already been armed, he continues his revenge against the judge and reporter, and leaves the building without any problem. As the Atlanta police begins a hunt for Nichols, he makes his way towards Ashley Smith’s house.

As the film progresses, Ashley is already in captivity and tries to cooperate with Nichols in order to not get killed. But the biggest test she is yet to face when Nichols asks her if she has weed or any drugs at home. When she gives him some, Brian threatens her with a gun, demanding her to use the drug as he feels that there is something wrong with it. This is when Ashley, after looking at the drug will make her choice, to get killed by drug or by the gun? One thing is certain, no matter what kind of choice she makes it will already change her life forever….

Captive is based on Ashley Smith’s book, but the screenplay is written by Brian Bird, and directed by Jerry Jameson. Probably, it’s hard to judge the film by its poorly written screenplay, as I had no chance to read the book itself. However, the second part of the film leaves the impression of being politically correct, rather than showing only one side of Brian Nichols, the one we see him in the beginning; a cold blooded murderer, and a person who is accused of rape. Even though it’s a well-acted film, and I must emphasize it – acted well enough to convince the viewer, however, in the second part of the film, Brian Nichols appears more like a likable character, which does not fit with anything we see in the first part.

In conclusion, despite the bad writing, Jerry Jameson directs its film with confidence, while Kate Mara as Ashley Smith and David Oyelowo as Brian Nichols do their part as convincingly as possible to keep you in captive. This is why this film is worth seeing at least once, because after all, there’s a valuable lesson in it to be learned; what is more important, a drug or life itself? A hope or hopelessness? Whatever it is, Ashley Smith must look at it from all possible angles to be able to answer these questions while you, as a viewer, watch her closely.…

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