This film was absolutely astounding. To base the plot off such a true and heart wrenching story like that of Elizabeth Smart and her kidnapper takes guts. It took me a little bit to realize exactly who the man was, but once I did I was glued to my computer screen. The combination of Mormon beliefs and complete insanity was magical.
My favorite part about this film was the actor who played Immanuel. His eyes were the center of attention with their color and lack of feeling. How he managed to play someone so misguided is beyond my understanding. He was perfect for the role and brought the film to a level that would not have been reached without him. However, he was not the only great Immanuel. The younger version also played his character with intense determination. Admittedly, I was scared for him as his father attacked and I felt sorry for the way that he followed in his father’s footsteps. It’s hard to say what the mother could have done differently to change her husband and son.
Most of the film occurred during an interrogation. It was nicely played with a good script, but I felt the two FBI agents should have been more stern with Immanuel. Instead of looking like they were tough and intimidating men, the scene appeared more like they were scolding their teenage son because he was late for curfew. Nonetheless, both agents had fine reactions and facial expressions. Their shining moment came when Immanuel started singing a hymn, causing them to exit the room in frustration. Fortunately, any faulty acting was well covered up by the camera angles and different cuts. They showed off the quick thinking skills of the director Joseph DeGolyer. The entire style of the interrogation scene was similar to what is seen on crime television, which I appreciated.
Another factor that added to the likeability of the film was the use of color for each time period. Evidently, the director took time to ensure each era was unique in all aspects including clothing, hairstyles, furniture, and camera shots. One of the best parts of the video was seeing the blessing being bestowed upon Immanuel as he was younger and in the jail cell. And lastly, the final shot of the scriptures with a picture of the prophet Joseph Smith’s vision leaves the audience with an ominous feeling. It’s one of those brilliant emotions that arrive when you have to take a minute to think about what you just watched.
The director and all who were involved with this movie should feel immensely proud. I would personally recommend it because of how professional it is and how well it fits with the other programs on television. It’s already an incredible story, but this portrayal allows you to see the character in a different light. If you didn’t previously have a knowledge of Elizabeth Smart, you will definitely want to research her after watching this. It may also cause you to be very protective of your children, but that’s probably a good thing.