Computer-oriented movies aren’t anything new, and when you watch the trailer of Profile, you aren’t sure what to expect. Searching was shot in this style and was fantastic, but then you have Unfriended, which was terrible.
The film follows a young female journalist Amy, who got an assignment to write a story about European women sent into sex slavery by ISIS. Amy is tasked to go undercover to pursue Abu into giving her all the details about how it transpires.
The movie takes place inside the computer through Skype for its entirety. That’s where we see the communications between Amy and Abu, Amy and her collages, and Amy and her boyfriend. Brilliant enough, director Timur Bekmambetov shot this in a way that made it very real. Between spotty connections to authentic backdrops for Abu, you felt very much engulfed in what was transpiring because of how it was shot.
Furthermore, the film explores the idea of how easily ISIS has been recruiting women all across the world to move there and become one of them. Throughout the ‘recruitment’ process, the number of lies being told by Abu, the speaking of fancy houses, kids, elaborate lifestyle, they preach whatever into the world to pursue them to make the move.
Lies and deceit are the name of the game. For every lie Abu would tell, Amy created one or two more to back it up. As Amy dove deeper into her cover, she started to fall for the compliments and for who Abu was saying he was.
Valene Kane and Shazad Latif give two of the best performances I’ve seen this year. Latif had charm and charisma about him that made you believe what he was selling to Amy. Latiff also showed his range throughout the film, as we witnessed his humor, his vulnerability, and of course, the ruthless side of him. When he got ruthless, he was downright scary and showcased this powerful villainess that we rarely see on screen anymore.
Valene Kane showcased this vulnerability within her role that reels you into Amy. The lies and deceit go from a game to real life, and without her being able to portray the transition of emotions, we don’t connect to the second and third act. Valene is a name to remember for years to come in Hollywood.
The writing team (Timur Bekmambetov, Britt Poulton, Olga Kharina) did a remarkable job adapting the book and bringing it to the screen. The writing of the last thirty minutes of the film is some of the best you will see this year. Timur does a fantastic job creating this intense finale that was scary than any horror movie I’ve seen in a decade. I was utterly blown away by his ability to make you cling to the edge of your seat. It’s one of the years best films.
‘Profile is the non-stop heart-racing thriller that needs to be seen in theaters.’