Profile Follows an ISIS Recruitment as it Plays Out

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Profile Blu-ray

More relevant than ever, Profile is a story told in the daring cinematic method of screen grabs and video Skype calls. It' a slow burn of a film that ignites in supernova intensity in the third act.

Valene Kane plays Amy, a freelance journalist looking to break into a full time job with a huge story. Using Facebook, she establishes a profile that falls in line with those of other young girls in the U.K. who had been recruited by ISIS as brides. Once she makes contact with Bilel (Shazad Latif), private messages evolve toward video calls with each other, as Amy tries to make herself the perfect victim to be recruited.

But the longer Amy pursues her relationship with Bilel, the more she finds herself sympathizing with him, his motivations, and his causes, to the extent that she begins to isolate those around her -- who in turn act toward her in ways that mirror the rejections that seemingly forged Bilel into the man he is.

Events accelerate slowly, but once they are in motion they are compelling and unstoppable. It takes a little effort on the part of the viewer to stick with the movie through the initial scenes, as the only action ever occurs on a laptop or smart phone screen, through video calls that capture all the action. At no time does director Timur Bekmambetov ever deviate from this conceit, and it surprisingly works quite well for this story that unfolds literally in cyberspace, the hunting ground for the terrorist recruiters.

Inspired by true events, Profile is the kind of film that will deceptively hook the viewer into what seems like a subtle investigative drama that ultimately becomes a supremely suspenseful life-or-death confrontation. I did not expect to be as pulled in as I was, and I heartily recommend this film to fans of political thrillers.

5.0 / 5.0