Technology being what it is today; almost anyone can make a movie and do it rather quickly. However, there is a clear difference between the heavy-handed CGI summer blockbusters and oh say, Blue Caprice. What matters is what you are looking for in a movie. Indy films today are raw and gritty and have a much more realistic feeling to them. While the title of this film doesn’t tell you anything about the movie itself, it also doesn’t tell you it was inspired by true events. True and tragic events that led to the Beltway sniper attacks in 2002.
Take the raw desire of an independent film, and the lack of budget, and sometimes a solid story with true emotion comes along. Mix that together with a movie inspired by tragic events then you have something, which really hits home. Watching the events unfold in this well acted film, you can’t help but be immersed in the tragedy. The raw emotion and lack of compassion for human life conveyed in this film are astonishing. You take the innocence of a child, who was abandoned, couple him with a twisted man with military training. The combination is lethal and quite unsettling.
Other than extras, this movie is rather slim on budget as well as actors. The scope of the story is very focused on a small number of people. Isaiah Washington (Ghost Ship, Grey’s Anatomy) plays John, a father who has lost custody of his children and has a restraining order against him, filed by his ex-wife. His ex-wife moved away, took the kids and did not share a forwarding address. Somewhere along the way, some could argue this made John snap and lose touch with reality. Tequan Ricmond (Everybody Hates Chris, Ray) plays Lee, a boy abandoned by his mother as a teenager. John takes Lee under his wing and convinces him to move to America with him. Both Isaiah and Tequan do an exceptional job of bringing an eerie sense of realism to these roles.
While it was a rather slim cast, there were two other top billed cast members that played significant roles in the film. The first was Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy, Big Daddy) who plays Jamie, the wife of John’s best friend. She does a good job of playing a blue-collar wife, living in an area of lesser means. While her part is not all that big, she does a good job of making her part seem very real. Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother, Where Are Though, Lincoln) plays Ray, John’s best friend. Tim has a larger and more pivotal role in this film. His character is the one that introduces Lee to guns and tells Lee that he is a natural. This leads to increased weapons and combat training, which allows the film to start unfolding.
While the movie revolves around a very controversial subject matter, it does an incredible job of being sensitive to the nature of the material itself. There are a number of times where certain scenes are left up to your imagination and don’t go over the top with graphic imagery. The movie is very well filmed and handled in a tasteful way, all things considered. The movie also seems to remove itself from any judgment toward the subject matter. There are no preachy messages or scenes swaying you toward a feeling of empathy for the “bad guys”. The movie does not support the actions of the gunmen, nor does it sway you in any direction. The movie simply tells a story in a very classy way, considering the material is quite disturbing.
Blue Caprice was directed by Alexandre Moors (Cherry Bloom, Cruel Summer). Considering this was Alexandre’s first feature length film, he did an amazing job. Having some talented actors certainly doesn’t hurt either. Alexandre took a really difficult subject matter and made an impressive film. Even more impressive is that this movie was written by R.F.I. Porto, who has no writing credits to his name, except for some additional writing on a short film with several other writers. Even though it was a low budget film and didn’t require any advanced camera work, the cinematography still set the mood very well. All things considered, the cast and crew did a great job with this film.
Overall Blue Caprice does a great job of pulling you right into the story. You really feel as though you are right there in the mix and you are part of what is going on. There is a scary realism that resonates throughout the film. Isaiah and Tequan do a great job of acting cold and emotionless toward the victims. The movie is a brisk ninety minutes and keeps your attention the entire time. It does a good job of keeping your interest and not loading the movie with things that add no value to the film. All in all it is a well-acted, well-made film, which is worth seeing if the premise is something that interests you.