At first glance, ‘Capture Kill Release’ seems to be a mash up of torture porn and a sort of first person POV movie. Neither of these seem to be welcome genres these days so my first thought was they had their work cut out for them right from the opening scene. However, this peek at how ugly human beings can be is strangely compelling and boasts one of most loathsome characters I have come across on the big screen in quite some time.
We meet what seems to be an average young married couple Farhang and Jen (played by Farhang Ghajar and Jennifer Fraser) who decide to kill a random stranger just to see how it feels. Of course, they also decide to grab a camera to document the whole process, from preparing the kill area, the clean-up area, their victim of choice while they lovingly chat about this whole process in bed each night. As you can probably guess, even their apparent meticulous plans couldn’t stop things from going completely sideways and wrong pretty damn fast.
It becomes pretty clear who wears the pants in this marriage as Jen dominates both her husband and the screen. I must say, I hated this woman in record time, nauseated by her manipulative, psychotic ways. To simply call her a sociopath would be too easy as on many occasions looking into her eyes was like getting a peek behind the curtain of pure evil. Fraser gives an amazing performance as someone you want to pity but then quickly absolutely hate. I don’t think I ever want to see a woman smile at me like that as I would have a hard time hiding the urge to turn around and run away as fast as humanly possible.
Poor hubby Farhang is so out of his league with Jen that you almost feel sorry for him. Almost. He cannot be forgiven for his part in this disgusting plan and when he finally realizes he wants nothing to do with it, it’s far too late. He is basically a gutless enabler, almost as loathsome as his wife, just not nearly as evil. Ghajar made me actually feel bad for his character, if only for short moments but still, that was impressive in itself. He was the perfect partner for Jen, at least she thought so, someone who could be controlled and made to think he was actually in on the decision making process.
So now we have two main characters that I totally despise, for totally different reasons, and this is my biggest problem with the film. Besides the homeless guy named Gary, there is no good guy/sympathetic character you can hang your hat on emotionally, so to speak. The ugly feelings I had for these characters started to take away my enjoyment of the movie as I had no one to come and rescue me from the sea of sickness I was watching before my eyes.
That being said, I believe that was also part of the point being made here. Besides watching Jen seduce/manipulate her husband to do whatever she wanted, it was rather enjoyable to watch how these two awful people reacted when everything went off the rails. Killing could not ever be as easy as they made it sound (besides Dexter, he was awesome) and the mental ramifications once the deed is in done is something no one can predicate, no matter what kind of sociopath or gutless wonder you are.
Putting my dislike of these characters aside, I had to give the actors credit for creating two people that stirred up such powerful emotions, even if they were all negative, making the whole plan they had that much more believable. Of course, filming something like this always leaves me scratching my head as it’s the kind of hard evidence that cops salivate over but still, I had a great time with this film even if I spent it with some truly despicable human beings.
Four out of five stars
Capture Kill Release makes its Toronto premiere Friday November 25th at 9:30 pm at The Blood in the Snow Canadian Film Festival’s new location, Cineplex Cinemas at Yonge/Dundas
- Farhang Ghajar and Jennifer Fraser are wonderful together and Fraser simply dominates the screen
- Two loathsome characters that were amazingly hard to take your eyes off of
- The characters take precedence over the brutal killing
- At times, the horrible human beings on screen made the film a little less enjoyable to watch
- Why do people film their crimes?