Out on DVD and BluRay today!
Due to my love of thrillers, I was so excited to see The Captive. As I was watching it, I kept waiting for this big twist, as I almost always see in all of my favorite thrillers. At the end of the movie, I was disappointed to see that there was no twist ending, no real cliffhanger to make you think. I quickly realized that I missed the point. The Captive isn't about some villain who gathered all his false facts from the cork-board behind a guy in a police station, or some other big catch. The Captive was awesome because...
1.) It reminds us that sometimes these shocking, terrible things can happen.
Granted it's not something we hear or talk about every day. That's why this film is important to me.
Mireille Enos, who played Cass' mother in the film, said in one of the special features that it almost would have been better for her character to find out that Cass died and to just bury her daughter, instead of finding out that her daughter has been used all this time. Discovering truth like this can't be easy, and it's almost impossible to think about the death of someone you love being the easier option to come to terms with.
2.) There are things in the film that are symbolic.
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview the wonderful Kevin Durand, who plays Mika in the film. While we were talking about how unusual Cass and Mika's relationship was for the typical captor/captive role, it led into how peculiar the set design was too. The place where Cass is kept is still kept fairly child-like, regardless of the fact that she is, more or less, a prisoner. Kevin went on to say...
"I think the art direction they had is so brilliant because when you're down in that basement, when you looked at the room from one side it looked like a cozy “den” of sorts, but then when you looked at it from the opposite side of the room, it looked like a prison cell. Just the way that they designed that room is... I think it's really symbolic of the situation. You know, she did have books, television, computers, and cozy places to sit and all this stuff, but then there was this reminder that she was held captive against her own will. Was she ever going to get out of there? And how did she make it through day to day? There's just a lot of interesting contradictions."
3.) The "bad guy" character is believable.
So often you see these roles go over the top and become absurd, but this isn't the case with Mika. He stays pretty calm and collected, while there's still that thing about him that makes you uneasy. Kevin Durand did the role so well that I can't imagine another person playing Mika. In the event that there's ever a reboot, it could never be the same.
4.) There are things that you'll pick up on the next time you watch it.
The movie tends to jump back and forth on the timeline, especially in the beginning. It's not too complicated to keep up with as long as you pay close attention to the surroundings and how things are worded by the characters. But even then, you'll notice things the second time around since you now have all the puzzle pieces. It's up to you to connect them now.
5.) The director's commentary on DVD/BluRay is worth listening to, as it explains things we might have overlooked.
In just the first three minutes of watching it, I already learned something new. For example, we hear Queen of the Night, in some way or another, at least two times in The Captive. I noticed this when watching it, but didn't understand why. The film's original title was Queen of the Night, and the opera is representative of the movie itself. The director goes on to say...
"There's this clip of Mika in his home listening to Queen of the Night. Now, this opera is really important to my writing. I don't want to go into it in a lot of detail without sounding like an academic or a proth, but I do think that it bears some investigation, especially the figure of Queen of the Night. Now, Queen of the Night was the original title of the film, which we changed, but The Queen of the Night in Mozart's opera is a very important figure. At this point, she's lamenting and full of rage over the fact that her daughter has been taken away. We'll kind of explore what that means in the course of the film, but it's a very important system that the Mozart opera provides in terms of levels of interpretation."
Sure, The Captive does have its faults, as does any movie. But if you can look past what few there are, I think you'll find a pretty neat thriller hiding underneath. Thank you to Moviepilot and Lionsgate for the incredible opportunity to watch The Captive prior to its release, and to be able to interview Kevin Durand.