c-catchthefair

Despite tackling a familiar subject matter, “Catch the Fair One” rises above the pack of similar films by virtue of its distinctive perspective, fantastic themes and enthralling technical presentation. It is worth seeking out for fans of thrilling and suspenseful films.

“Catch the Fair One” is the latest film from Josef Kubota Wladyka and stars Kali Reis as Kaylee, a Native American former champion boxer, who goes in search of her missing sister who has been kidnapped by a ring of human traffickers. What follows is a tense, tightly-paced thriller that wastes little time getting into the action.

One of the best aspects of “Catch the Fair One” are the themes that arise from the nature of the plot. Due to the film being centered around a Native American woman, the public apathy toward solving crimes of missing Native women is explored. The complex and timely themes of this film already set it a step above many films attempting a similar story. 

The story of “Catch the Fair One” is admittedly not entirely original as far as missing family member stories, such as “Taken” and “The Captive.” However, what separates this movie from those examples is a matter of perspective. The aforementioned films follow straight, white male main characters also searching for missing family members, whereas the main character of this film is none of those three. The intrigue is derived from the distinct perspective of the protagonist.

However, appeals to diversity and representation are not the only way “Catch the Fair One” stands out. There is also a fair amount of quality in the film’s presentation. Reis’s lead performance in the film is phenomenal. The portrayal gives her character a delicate balance of both outer toughness and inner frailty. I was astonished to learn that this was her first acting role because she absolutely nails the performance.

The film is also visually superb, with fantastic cinematography and production design. The way the camera bobs and weaves through space gives the action in the film an added amount of emphasis. The color grading gives the film a distinctive depressive look, allowing for some heightened atmosphere. There are a ton of ridiculously satisfying reincorporated objects and moments that elevate the drama of any given scene.

This all results in “Catch the Fair One” having a fantastic sense of tone; the movie is grim and brutal throughout, lacking even a moment’s reprise. Thus, the film’s level of brutality and satisfaction are heightened. The film was the only thing that occupied my mind while I was watching, and it never lost even a fraction of my attention or interest. What this amounts to is “Catch the Fair One” being a remarkably effective thriller.

In summary, while the story of “Catch the Fair One” is something that most viewers have undoubtedly seen at least once or twice before, the execution is what makes it distinct. I give this film a 7/10, and I would recommend that fans of solid thriller stories check this one out. “Catch the Fair One” is ultimately an imperfect film because of its story not being wholly original, but in that imperfection lies the potential to improve. So, I am hotly anticipating whatever Wladyka or someone else refining this concept makes next.

culture@dailynebraskan.com