Blue Caprice (R)

Suspense/Thriller 93 September 13, 2013
By Alan Scherstuhl
Well-acted and smartly shot, Blue Caprice is a film whose quality might not be justification for the film itself. Here's the true story of John Allen Muhammad (Isaiah Washington) and Lee Boyd Malvo (Tequan Richmond), the D.C Snipers, a man and kid desperate to show this country that they matter. Washington plays Muhammad as commanding yet subtly rotten, and the spree is shown as calm, planned, all too easy to get away with. But the movies are chockablock with killers already. The key question is whether this one contributes to any greater understanding. I believe it does. Just before their rampage, Malvo handles himself well in a consultation with an arms dealer, and Muhammad smiles at him, proud-- and you'll likely be glad for the kid, despite your better judgment. Later, when a traffic cop knocks on the door of that Caprice as part of a routine stop, a twinge passed through me, one of those involuntary responses to a suspenseful movie scene: a sting of misplaced they might get caught! fear. Blue Caprice plays like an experiment in the movies' capacity to stir such empathy. That flush of emotion reveals the glory and danger of the movies, that in them we can be inspired to feel for anyone. That's also one of our greatest capacities: that our impulses toward understanding and identification are so strong that artists can pluck them like maestros. The tragedy, the fresh revelation of Blue Caprice is in watching this boy have that humanity stolen from him. That's why there are senseless killings—because too many men have too little to feel.
Alexandre Moors Joey Lauren Adams, Tim Blake Nelson, Al Sapienza, Isaiah Washington, Leo Fitzpatrick, Tequan Richmond, Cassandra Freeman, Alexis Iacono, Gregory M. Brown Alexandre Moors, R.F.I. Porto IFC Films

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