Captive

Two Russian soldiers walk over the mountains and through the gorges of Chechnya: the seasoned and laconic Rubakhin and the cheerful and frivolous rifleman, Vovka. They are walking through the hot day searching for a guide to lead their convoy out of an ambush. Only a local who knows the trails can do it. But the locals are enemies, so ...more

Two Russian soldiers walk over the mountains and through the gorges of Chechnya: the seasoned and laconic Rubakhin and the cheerful and frivolous rifleman, Vovka. They are walking through the hot day searching for a guide to lead their convoy out of an ambush. Only a local who knows the trails can do it. But the locals are enemies, so they'll have to take one captive. And then- a chase, a throw, a punch, and a capture. An enemy's taken captive and it doesn't matter that he's still a boy... The soldiers walk through the summer heat. Next to them a war is going on. And here -two commanders, a Russian and a Chechen. The war has long been over between them, but it is still inside of them and around them. It is in the listless trading of arms and ...more

Movie Details

  • Director(s) Aleksey Uchitel
  • Starring Vyacheslav Krikunov, Pyotr Logachev, Irakli Mskhalaia
  • Language(s) Russian
  • Subtitle(s) English
  • Released April 08, 2014
  • Genre
  • Run Time 80 minutes
  • Rating NR

BIGSTAR Review

"Will you put him down, or are you going to breast-feed him? (addresses prisoner) You try that again and I'll drown you myself, got it?" ~VOVKA (Pyotr Logachev) to Rubakha (Vyacheslav Krikunov) after Rubakha himself jumps into a freezing river to apprehend the captive they completely misjudged in untying to get a drink of water; something THE WALKING DEAD's Rick Grimes would never do, fellahs. Just saying...

Ah yes, another film from *Award-winning Russian director Aleskey Uchitel, whom I've had the pleasure of reviewing on this very website, with two of his earlier installments; DREAMING OF SPACE (review posted March 12th, 2014) and THE EDGE (review posted March 15th, 2014). For CAPTIVE alone, Uchitel won both the *Dialog Award* and the *Grand Prize* at the 2008 Cottbus Film Festival of Young East European Cinema, and nabbed *Best Director* at the 2008 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Fans of the 2013 film LONE SURVIVOR and last year's AMERICAN SNIPER can put this in a similar echelon, since it also received nominations for both *Best Sound* and *Best Music* at the 2009 NIKA Awards. In this journey, a Russian military convoy is ambushed in Chechnya and the Russian commanding officer isn't going to send a relief column to help them. Two Russian soldiers take a young Muslim Chechen prisoner of war and trek through hostile territory to reach the convoy. Hmmm, seems simple enough! Now, that being stated, there have been numerous motion pictures about soldiers taking prisoner and becoming humanized by getting to know their enemy, as in Cornel Wilde's THE NAKED PREY and Martin Ritt's FIVE BRANDED WOMEN... and even 1987's PREDATOR could be tossed up there. Maybe?? Typically in this format, said captive is female, so in this particular reiteration, the dichotomy won't lend into any rape culture plot tropes (thank GOD!). This is a film that addresses the human sympathy factor of brutal war, and with our current social/political climate in the middle east the way it is, this makes for an important film. Also, the fact that it had stellar premieres globally at outings like the 2008 Gent International Film Festival, the 2008 Vyborg Russian Cinema Festival, the 2009 Cleveland International Film Festival and the 2009 Leids Film Festival just proves its staying power.

One of the most ongoing themes of compassion is with Rubakha carefully tending to the feet of our young captive each time he seems to make a break for it. He does have effeminate features, but he seems to represent the fear of innocence, as Rubakha ends of representing the strength of sympathy and nurturing. CAPTIVE is truly a film that is sharp and direct... like a thrown shovel spade into a tree! Now go get that, will ya, kid!?

~Steve

Ratings

  • Cinematography & Editing
  • Musical Score & Sound
  • Stories & Script
  • Acting
  • Directing
84
Overall BIGSTAR Score.
Scores range from 10-100
BIGSTAR Approved!

Movie Photos