Blue Caprice ★★★½

Now here's a film that assumes a lot. It assumes you are aware of the DC 'Beltway Shooters' and the terror they wreaked a few years ago. It assumes you know who the characters involved are, possibly based on American sensationalist media. It assumes you already know how it all ends. This film serves to explore the rest.

As an outsider looking in, who remembers the shootings but very little detail - including the names or any specific facts - I applaud the risk taken by the film in not simply documenting the events. This isn't a film about the shootings. Actually, they feel like footnotes. This is a film about an abusive relationship, and the power of parental influence.

It's quite well acted by Isaiah Washington and Tim Blake Nelson, with a minor performance by Joey Lauren Adams. The primary protagonist, played by Tequan Richmond, is difficult to connect with because of his reserved demeanor. There are a few moments where the situation sparks some emotion that allows us in, but for the most part it's Washington who carries the film. I think that's intentional, where Washington's character is intended to suppress the will and morality of his protege, but it does make the film cryptically obtuse to a certain degree.

Overall, it's a beautifully shot film, with a compelling score and ominous overtones. Well worth watching, but you'll certainly want to familiarize yourself with the reality of the events to be able to truly feel the weight of this film. I know I had to.