Review: 'Blue Caprice' is mature and intelligent
This film image released by IFC Films shows Tequan Richmond as Lee Boyd Malvo in "Blue Caprice." (AP Photo/IFC Films)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Blue Caprice" is a disturbing, masterfully controlled thriller based on the 2002 sniper attacks in the Washington, D.C., suburbs. The national discussion of mass shootings and gun control stands to heighten the impact of director Alexandre Moors' head-turning debut, which is driven by performances of brooding intensity from Isaiah Washington and Tequan Richmond.
Following a grainy montage of news and surveillance video accompanied by traumatized 911 calls reporting shootings in the D.C. area, the story opens amid the lush island vegetation of Antigua in the Caribbean. A teenage boy, Lee (Richmond), watches in mute fury as his mother leaves their home to take work elsewhere, saying she'll be back for him. But as her absence stretches on, Lee grows bored, frustrated and then desperate, seemingly attempting to drown himself in the rough surf.
He is rescued and taken in by John (Washington), a visiting American whose three young daughters have been removed from their country in violation of a custody agreement. With no word from Lee's mother, John eventually takes him back to Tacoma, Wash.
This film image released by IFC Films shows Isaiah Washington as John Allen Muhammad, foreground, and Tequan Richmond as Lee Boyd Malvo in "Blue Caprice." (AP Photo/IFC Films)
From early in their relationship, John begins drilling his life-is-unfair views into Lee, whose absence of a father figure renders him highly susceptible to the older man's influence. The bottomless pit of John's anger becomes steadily more apparent back in the U.S., as he takes Lee on a tour of the middle-class suburban neighborhood of his former life. He talks of the evil that lives there, the ghosts left behind, and the vampires like his ex-wife, who sucked him dry. Since their return from Antigua, she has taken out a restraining order against him and removed their children to parts unknown. This gnaws at him like a cancer.