The Captive


Reviewed by: Richard Mowe

Mireille Enos and Ryan Reynolds in The Captive, Atom Egoyan's new film in the Cannes competition.
"Egoyan has made an edgy and contemporary psychological thriller."

The themes of child abduction, predatory grooming and the stuff of parental nightmares receive a thorough and hypnotic workout from Canadian director Atom Egoyan in The Captive.

Set against the snow-white backdrop of a small town in the provinces, Egoyan's new film deals with a young couple who fall apart when their daughter is abducted in the few minutes it takes her father to stop at a wayside pie-shop on the way home.

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The girl, who was resting up on the back seat of his truck after a visit to the local skating rink, is gone when he returns to the vehicle. Like the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, of which there are obvious echoes, it has all the hallmarks of a pre-planned and meticulously executed abduction.

From then on, Egoyan unfurls the jigsaw with deft sleight of hand, only ever providing enough information to intrigue without revealing the exact nature of the horror that has taken place or of those involved.

Egoyan examines how this kidnapping destroys the relationships - not just the parents but the synergy between the investigators As the film teases out the complex threads weaving together the victim, her family, the predators and the investigators, the mystery of what happened to the child, during the eight years she has been missing, eventually finds resolution.

Ryan Reynolds plays the volatile family man thrown into turmoil after the incident, coping with suspicion both from the police and from his wife. As the investigation uncovers surveillance cameras in his own home, it becomes clear this is no ordinary kidnapping case.

Co-starring are Rosario Dawson and Scott Speedman as the investigating officers, Mireille Enos as the doubting and accusing wife and Kevin Durand as one of the most scary psychos this side of Christopher Walken. Egoyan has made an edgy and contemporary psychological thriller that has resonances of such TV series as The Killing and is none the worse for that.

Whether it has enough added muscle and depth, however, to merit its place in the Cannes Film Festival Competition may well give some cause for concern.

Reviewed on: 16 May 2014
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A father tries to find his kidnapped daughter.

Director: Atom Egoyan

Writer: Atom Egoyan, David Fraser

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Scott Speedman, Rosario Dawson, Mireille Enos, Kevin Durand, Alexia Fast

Year: 2014

Runtime: 112 minutes

Country: Canada


Cannes 2014

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