Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland
Markus Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Rated R for disturbing violent content, language and brief drug use.
Admittedly going in with very little knowledge of the actual events behind the true story which “Blue Caprice” is based on (the Beltway sniper attacks) other than the fact that two men (one was a minor) had engaged in a series of public shootings on the east coast, during a span of three weeks in October 2002, the most intriguing aspect of this film is how its focus is not on the shootings themselves, but the relationship between the two killers, Lee Malvo and John Muhammad.
Synopsis: After being pretty much abandoned, a sixteen year old Caribbean boy named Lee, played by Tequan Richmond (who is also the best thing to come out of that crappy “Everybody Hates Chris” show) seeks guidance from an American man named John (played by Isaiah Washington, who gives the performance of his life). The boy becomes absolutely mesmerized with his new found father figure, even though John is an openly abusive man, who is mentally unstable and holds an unhealthy disdain for the world around him. Quickly transforming into a cult leader-type, John begins to brainwash this damaged child, as “Blue Caprice” careens towards a cold blooded final 20 minutes.
While John Muhammad is painted as the monster he truly is, with the way I have described the plight of Lee Malvo, his sixteen year old accomplice, I realize that there are readers who will be turned off simply because I do make it sound as though director Alexandre Moors shines a sympathetic light on a killer of innocent people. Now, is “Blue Caprice” meant to give a sympathetic portrayal of Lee Malvo? The answer is, yes. BUT (and this is my opinion, of course) even though Malvo did engage in heinous acts and I do sympathize with the victims of these shootings, if it really went down the way this movie depicts, then maybe audiences are right to feel sympathy for this kid.
Final Thought: Whilst not as emotionally impactful as I would have liked it to be, “Blue Caprice” still packs a punch as a highly interesting dissection of a mutated father/son relationship, due to a combination of haunting performances from the two leads and some intriguing camerawork. So, between this and “Fruitvale Station”, it has been a good few months for feature film directorial debuts.
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