A son’s being taught by his dad how to drive a car is one of those seminal steps to manhood. This celebrated ritual becomes a deadly foreboding in Blue Caprice, a film that tracks a murderous sniper spree conducted from inside that titular vehicle by a man and the abandoned male teen he’s metaphorically adopted as blood kin.
Directed by Alexandre Moors, Blue Caprice is a stark psychological thriller based on the random sniper attacks conducted, over a period of three weeks in 2002, by a duo that came to be known as the Beltway Snipers. Moors’ focus is an imagined look on how these two developed their relationship. In the process, he provides a grim scenario of what to expect when archetypal paternal guidance is sourced from the underworld.
At the receiving end of this diabolical fathering – which evokes disciplined teacher Saturn and deadly Pluto teaching one’s offspring how to kill – is Lee Boyd Malvo (Tequan Richmond). The father figure – the archetypal Sun – who takes Lee under his wing is John Allen Muhammed (Isaiah Washington), a veteran of the U.S. military (Mars) with weaponry (Mars) expertise, and whose wife, in a custody battle, has fled with his three kids.
Muhammed’s ache for his absent children – he rides around at night trying to find any trace of where their mother has taken them – and Lee’s need for a male adult presence constitute a perfect lock-and-key opportunity, which gives two desperate souls a taste of something bittersweet to subdue their mutual hungers.
Under Muhammed’s tutelage, young Lee turns into a prized pupil eager to perform violent acts to prove his love and loyalty, prompting the man to say, “I’ve created a monster,” with the deep pride only Dads can muster. For good measure, there’s a second father figure with superb military skills, Ray (Tim Blake Nelson). And, although the audience knows the end point of this movie, to watch this pair systematically deconstruct the titular car – so that shots can be fired from the vehicle’s trunk through a customized hole – is brutally chilling, as is Lee’s asking where his “father” is at movie’s end.
Blue Caprice, though not preachy, is a must-see for any man eager to take on or already navigating the responsibilities of fatherhood. The impressionability of youth and kids’ yearning for Daddy to be godlike can sometimes take a deadly detour to hell. This movie shows how simple that downward descent can be. Dark Father, indeed.
Astrology Film Review: ☉♂♄♇ (Sun, Mars, Saturn, Pluto)