Inspired by the true events of the Beltway sniper attacks in Maryland and Washington D.C, Blue Caprice is a psychological thriller about the events leading up to this tragedy. The film follows Lee Boyd, a young man who finds himself completely abandoned by his own mother, left alone to fend for himself. He meets John Allen, a man who becomes Lee's father figure, taking him to America where he is subjected to a nightmarish view on life. Documenting the chain of events and mechanisms leading up to the shootings, Blue Caprice is an exploration of how human frailty and heart-break can ultimately lead to savagery. Blue Caprice does a great job of subtlety showing how John's father figure is a dangerous influence but it's never over the top. We never are shown that he is a complete monster, which is a good thing, but a man whose mind has been warped into a monstrous state by a tough life. Washington's performance matches the film's design, being understated but poignant in capturing a broken man whose been grinded down to point of seeing almost everyone around him as an enemy who must be destroyed. The film shows the romanticism that Lee Boyd and John Allen have for firearms but it never crosses the line of trying to blame guns for the horrible events that ensue. The only aspect of the film's narrative that felt cheap was a scene in which we see Lee Boyd playing a violent video game, as if the filmmakers are trying to attribute some of his increasing instability to not only his warped father but these games. This isn't a major point of the film but it does feel out of place, given most of the film's understated and well-crafted nature. Featuring a strong performance by Isaiah Washington as John Allen, Blue Caprice is a well-paced, gripping film that engrosses the viewer into the story of the Beltway Sniper as we feel helpless, anticipating its dark and tragic conclusion.
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