I gratefully had the opportunity to watch and review KIDNAP CAPITAL, written and directed by Felipe Rodriguez. This film does not hesitate when it comes to its level of intensity which left me feeling a complete and utter disgust. The intro drops a bit of knowledge on you about kidnapping rings and states in which the real stories are based off. Films like this always get under my skin so I usually tend to avoid them because the thought of knowing these things actually happen is disgusting to me. Having been a victim of armed robbery myself, realistic scenes of violence in real life situations in movies always make my stomach turn.
The premise of the film is about victims of a kidnapping ring whom thought they were being transported across the border into America only to find out it was a scheme. The room the hostages are kept in resembles a dungeon in a “trap house” and looks totally disgusting. They keep the men and women separated, which is unfortunate because there are less women. One of the kidnappers, Smokey, played by Joseph Pierre (GET RICH OR DIE TRYING) is incredibly horny and the film implies that he has raped women hostages previously, which is completely terrifying. The depictions of humans being contained and treated like animals is always an unsettling idea and is really uncomfortable to watch. The fact that a few men can place a group of men in a contained area and instill so much fear into them that they cannot recognize safety in numbers is completely terrifying.
The movie is jam-packed with imagery that makes you completely uncomfortable and fills you with a sense of depression almost instantaneously. The “boss” of the house, Wyler, is played by Paulino Nunes who does a fantastic job of playing a heartless criminal. His interactions with the hostages are blunt and to the point – he wants his money. There is a specific conversation he has with one of the main characters, Manolo (Jonathan Sousa), where he tells him “If you live in this house, you pay rent.” That line was so powerful and evil but I loved it. There are some scenes of torture which were depicted very powerfully but were mild for me in the sense of blood and gore, but that isn’t what this movie is about. This movie is about giving you characters and putting them into one of the most horrific situations imaginable. The periodic flashbacks of romance and happiness prior to the kidnapping created a highly emotional undertone in an already highly emotional situation. Elena, Manolo’s wife, is played by Michelle Arvizu (“Orpahn Black”) and is probably one of the saddest characters to watch during the film as she is forced to maintain house cleaning and complete any task asked of her, as if she is some type of maid.
Honestly, this movie just throws you into a horrifying, emotional meat grind and the end product is your exploded brain matter all over your preferred viewing area. Throughout the film there are a few seconds of intermissions which state the date in which you are viewing these people’s daily lives. One character I feel particularly bad for is Pedro, who is played by Pedro Miguel Arce. He is a terrified, emotional wreck and you can’t help but feel awful for him. Anytime you think something positive might happen, BAM, the plot kicks you right between the legs. Things become tense in the roles of leadership between Wyler and Smokey and you can tell things will eventually become really ugly between the two of them. With the violent progressiveness of this movie, I was feeling pretty hopeless in terms of redemption for these characters. Though I found the climax to be slightly predictable that didn’t sway my love for this movie. Like I had mentioned previously, I typically avoid films like this, however KIDNAP CAPITAL was exceptionally well-written and the acting was phenomenal. From beginning to end I was on the edge of my seat in what I can only describe as a violent and emotional roller coaster ride. I will be seeking this film out for purchase so I can add it to my collection and share it with people. I would highly recommend watching KIDNAP CAPITAL as I haven’t seen anything that ripped my nerves apart like this in awhile!