We can certainly pick apart this film, its execution in that some scenes were predictable and bordered on idealism. One film critic asked why the lead actor Jim Caviezel holds a gun in his left hand in the movie poster when he refused to carry one on an undercover raid. Umm, don’t all Homeland Security officers carry a firearm normally, sir?
I thought this film was beautifully photographed considering the heinous and ugly subject matter of children sex slaves. Gorka Gomez Andreu. Remember that name. He made excellent use of everyone’s eyes—particularly the quite serious and dedicated Mr. Caviezel. But oh my, when he smiled, you want to stand up and shout, “I BELIEVE!” He lights up the screen as if he ingested the sun. His teeth are beautiful in its imperfect crookedness that belong in real life.
Director Alejandro Montemarde directed and co-wrote the screenplay based on Tim Ballard‘s work. Senor Montemarde spares us the grisly details of violent rape and left me to my own imagination. I broke my heart most capably without his assistance of moving pictures.
I could go on and on in the details of the story’s pluses and minuses but the fact that there always seems to be a complicit female involved in sex trafficking just boggles my mind. It’s not just evil male degenerates masterminding these operations, women too.
Most recently in the last five years, “He whose name we shall not speak of”—one committed “suicide” in jail, had a girlfriend (female) luring young girls to his island. And the other is jailed for life—he had female assistants who looked away and didn’t warn naive and gullible actresses from his deviant proclivities.
It’s not just in South America where they prey on children. It’s here too. So before you dismiss the faith-based message in this story: think about the utter helplessness a six-year-old child feels in the world of dangerous, lawless adults forcing horror after horror on him or her. If a medallion of a deceased human saint gives them hope, so be it.
By now, you know that this is not a feel good movie but spoiler alert: there is a powerful relief in knowing there are real life heroes not only helping to dismantle these pedophile rings but that the survivors of sex trafficking often commit their life to Herculean efforts in helping other abductees to escape. These survivors deserve our praise and sincerest hope that good always prevails by exposing the monsters who hide in plain sight. Even if it is Hydra with nine heads.
As a former Los Angeleno, it was most gratifying to witness a usually placid and laid-back San Diego audience spontaneously applaud! It is the sound of freedom that rings through-out the theater.
Stay safe folks and see you at the movies! j
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