Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Profile of a Killer - Movie Review

Profile of a Killer - 108 min – Unrated

The producers of this movie asked me to screen this film. It was one of those movies that come at you from left field. It’s a shame that people don’t know about this film because it has some brilliant performances. I did some homework while I waited for my copy to arrive. It’s interesting that writer/director Caspian Tredwell-Owen also wrote The Island. When I saw The Island, I thought the story had potential but the heavy handed action of Michael Bay kind of ruined the nuances.

Profile of a Killer was directed by Tredwell-Owena and the story takes center stage -- not explosions. This is a movie about a profiler, Saul (Gabe Angieri), who is captured by the killer and forced into a game of wits. There have been other movies about profilers but not one that takes this kind of twist with the story. This movie has two sides, one from the point of view of the profiler and one from the special agent, Rachel (Emily Fradenburgh) who is trying to find Saul and catch the killer.

I think that in some cases the writer who directs their own stuff can really do the story justice. They can construct the film to match how it was first envisioned. However if they have too much power over the story from idea to conception it could limit your production. George Lucas is an excellent example of this. He had ultimate control but there were times where he needed to have that strong voice saying “George, this would work better if…” This doesn’t seem to be the case with Profile of a Killer. I think that Caspian Tredwell-Owen did a wonderful job imagining this movie and bringing it to life on screen.

Gabe Angieri as Saul 
Gabe Angieri is outstanding in this movie. He has a fairly short résumé but he is very talented. In this role he does a wonderful job of bringing a kindness to what is usually a very technical character profession. Usually profilers in movies have no personality of their own they are muted and try and take on the identity of the killer or get inside their heads. Saul does this without losing his identity as a character. Saul had this fatherly presence that showed concern for the killer instead of being that neutral non-judgmental entity there to talk someone down. There was an emotional investment in resolving the problem, and not just because the killer has a gun. Saul seemed to be trying to connect with the killer.

Emily Fradenburgh as Rachel
Where Saul was the compassion, Rachel was completely frigid. I think she was meant to be, but that limited the connection to her. She was focused on the job and nothing else. She is the type of FBI agent who has had a tragic past and that has pushed her to excel at her job. As a loner she lets very few people into her private life. She is methodical and driven.

The down side is she is such a talented performer this role really does not show off her depth of character. I think Fradenburgh and this character would be good as a lead in a separate film. The length of time we have with her on screen is enough to pique our interest, but not enough to truly satisfy. Because of that, I had a hard time getting emotionally involved with Rachel. She was more of a device than an involved member of the story.

Joey Pollari as David
I think in the hands of a less talented actor, the killer, David (Joey Pollari) could have been disastrous, however, with the unique approach taken, it became the linchpin to the story. There was a lot of complicity to the character. The subtext was an interesting commentary on society and how we are easily lost in the noise of today’s world. Pollari had his work cut out for him. You could tell at times the role was pushing his limits, but did a great job with this incredibly complex character. He has to engage the viewer as a puzzle, not give too much away and still maintain the emotional connection to Saul and the viewer.

The overall movie was well paced and as an independent film they did masterfully. This is a police cat-and-mouse thriller told in a completely new way. What I loved about it is that we get to see the killer right off and the real battle of wills is done face to face. Typically the killer and profiler finally meet in the climax of the movie. In this movie they are eye to eye fairly quickly. That adds an element of danger to the profiler character who usually directs things from a safe distance.

Take a look at this movie. You can see it on Amazon for rental. It is not rated by the MPAA so you need to know this type of film is in my opinion not kid friendly for language and graphic violence and gory scenes (duh… it’s about a killer). This is a great thriller for adults who are in the mood for a good police story.

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