Have you ever had a bad day go extremely sour in a matter of moments? Well, when a Georgia mother, Ashley Smith, thought her life was already getting worse by the minute, she was then kidnapped and forced to face some of her own demons. Paramount Pictures’ new movie “Captive” is a thriller, starring “Selma” actor David Oyelowo and actress Kate Mara that is based on a true story. The movie is based on a book titled, “An Unlikely Angel” by Ashley Smith, who was taken hostage by convict Brian Nichols after he killed several people at Fulton County courthouse. Keep reading to find out if this movie is a must-see or a must-not!
Some of you might remember Brian Nichols from when he was convicted on multiple charges for the rape, kidnapping, and assault of his former girlfriend after discovering that she was dating a minister from the church they both attended.
On March 11, 2005, Nichols shot and killed four people and escaped from the Fulton County courthouse in Atlanta, during a trial for the rape case. During his escape, he murdered the judge presiding over his trial, Rowland Barnes, court reporter Julie Brandau, Sergeant Hoyt Teasley, and Agent David G. Wilhelm at his home. Nichols then kidnaps a young woman, Ashley Smith, to use as a hostage. Smith gets through her time as a hostage inspired by Rick Warren’s The Purpose Drive Life while Nichols searches for redemption.
According to CNN, Nichols originally grew up in a middle class household in Baltimore, Maryland. He later attended Kutztown University of Pennsylvania from 1989 to 1990, where he played football. Nichols dropped out of college and moved to Georgia in 1995, where he worked for Hewlett-Packard and later UPS. Apparently Nichols always had a good job and showed no signs of aggressive behavior before the attack on his wife.
Besides Kate Mara wearing a pair of God-awful pants throughout the movie, she did an exceptional job playing the mother and recovering addict, Ashley Smith, who was in the midst of putting her life back together for the sake of her young daughter. It seemed like Mara’s character lived a pretty normal life prior to her run in with the law and drug addiction and as the movie progresses, she builds into a more stable, courageous character. A fact that at times even surprised her kidnapper.
Viewers can relate to Smith because in life, it always seems like when you overcome one issue, another one is “waiting on you at the door.” There were so many times that the audience will expect Nichols to kill Smith, but will be surprised at how he reacts to her disobedience towards him as well as the trust that grows between them. This made me question whether Nichols’ actual motive was properly demonstrated throughout the film.
Kate Mara is a fantastic actress and not just because I loved her on the Netflix original series, “House of Cards,” which her character played an annoyingly stubborn and street smart reporter. I think she’s an excellent addition to the Fantastic Four cast, although I did doubt her ability to play Sue Storm in the beginning, and she always seems to pick the roles that will take her to new levels in her career.
Her co-star David Oyelowo, whom I first fell in love with when he first starred in the movie “The Butler” and “Red Tails,” really surprised me during the film. My extremely loose quote of the day is, “Oyelowo truly looked good in a suit with no inside shirt on.” No lie! He also deserves props for bringing his character to life. Oyelowo had to be extremely physically fit to jump over fences, run down several flights of stairs, and jack several cars like he was in a “Miami Vice” video game. Oyelowo is a great fit for the role of Brian Nichols. He’s such a great actor and makes you forget that he’s playing a role, because it’s so easy to get caught up in the lives of the various roles he portrays.
Whilst attending the D.C. screening for “Captive,” I had high hopes for the film. Yes, the movie had its dry moments and the character’s actions were slightly questionable at times, but I so badly wanted to like it. The previews made it seem more dramatic, controversial, and like a must see feature for everyone. I expected the movie to have a lot more action and a memorable climax scene, but then sadly realized that the preview was better than the actual movie.
To me, the movie lacked substance and the producers missed an opportunity to do some great things with this film. The movie felt one sided and I would have loved to see Nichols’ background story developed just as much as Smith’s was. As I previously mentioned, the point of Smith’s story is that she read “A Purpose Driven Life” to Nichols and it changed his path of self-destruction. However, the movie showed Smith reading to Nichols for only four minutes of the almost two hour movie. It made no sense as to why the producers shortened the most important fact about the story.
Although Oyelowo playing the lead male role does help with promotion of the film, I don’t see it being a box office smash. Actually, this is a movie that I would normally watch on a “Netflix and chill night” when I’m off from work and in need of wine and pizza.
On a good note, the movie’s suspense was fantastic. It had me whispering to my friend whilst in shock of a few insanely creative scenes. Also Oyelowo displayed some professional/elite “wrist taping” skills in the movie, which took me back to my favorite movie “Fifty Shades of Grey.” A few of his “wrist taping” moves made me think Mara’s character would fall in love with Nichols and develop Stockholm syndrome. Thanks for the false hope Paramount!
The movie also features a star from the show “The Wire” but I won’t say who! Find out for yourself when the movie Captive is released September 18, 2015 in theaters everywhere.