Atom Egoyan’s The Captive is a psychological thriller about pedophilia, kidnappers and voyeurs who are given great advantages today through technology. It is also about how the families of the victims are subjected to terrible stress, and how they too become victims; family units sometimes collapsing under the pressures. Set mostly in white Canadian winters near Niagara Falls, the eight-year story is framed against a beautiful but stark landscape that only serves to highlight the personal stories.
Initially, the film is a little hard to follow as they shuffle back and forth in time setting up the background to the kidnapping and the leading characters. Eventually it all falls into place and we see good performances from Ryan Reynolds (the father), Rosario Dawson and Scott Speedman (cops), Peyton Kennedy and Alexia Fast as the young and then older victim, and Kevin Durand as the creepy pedophile/kidnapper. The best of the lot, however, was the wonderful Mireille Enos as the mother. I loved her in the US version of The Killing and she is superb in The Captive. She could give lessons to most award winning “celebrity” actors.
The film has a clear conclusion, something that is almost rare these days and something that I for one appreciate.
Not edge of seat stuff, but a story well told. 4/5