When I wrote my review of Searching, I already did a recap of all of the “From a computer screen” based films of the last few years, and how most of them were flops, except for some TV show examples.
Well, now we have Profile, another of those films, and I don’t think this “gimmick” has been played out if it is done right. Since Searching came out, we also had Host, which seemed to finally do a bit better on the horror version of these films (although Searching has plenty of tense moments).
While on the subject of Searching, should be noted that Profile was not made years later than Searching. It actually was in film festivals in 2018, same year as Searching, it just didn’t get released for three years, maybe to distance itself from Searching. I really can’t tell, couldn’t find news articles about it, and the title of ‘Profile’ doesn’t really help with searches either.
How do you say I Love You in Skype?
This is a movie about Amy Whittaker (Valene Kane), a British journalist, hoping to get a more secure job at her news station. Someone with a salary and less freelancing. She gets the idea to pose as a recent convert to Islam, and get noticed by members of ISIS. There have been reports of them recruiting through social media, and stories of Islamic converts being brought into Syria to be brides, with really, really, bad outcomes.
So she gets a scarf to put over her head, hides her tattoos with some foundation, and makes a new Facebook profile. She finds other converts to Islam there, and begins to like and share their posts and videos, hoping to be noticed by an ISIS recruiter or soldier. And she is!
With the help of her news stations IT staff, her goal is to catfish an ISIS soldier, having actual video conferences with him, to document their talks. They want to see their methods and report on them so people can watch out for them. And also how they handle the transportation of these girls to Syria without being noticed or traced.
However, Amy is having a hard time balancing this new fake life with her real life. And there might be actual benefits to heading to Syria and leaving it all behind, because Abu Bilel Al-Britani (Shazad Latif) raises some good points, is attractive, and seems to have a good reason for doing what he does. Fuuuuu.
Don’t fuck up the headpiece, that will give it all away Amy.
Profile is based on a true story, about a French journalist who did…you know, this sort of thing. It is called In the Skin of a Jihadist, and I am sure won awards and hopefully helped some people out. Like real life people. I don’t know how this story compares to the book.
I first thought this movie was more of a real time picture, but it takes place over a few weeks. That isn’t a problem at all, but the film doesn’t always do a good job of showing that time has passed between sessions. I also can’t tell when events are supposed to be live or if some of them are just someone else watching recorded sessions after the fact. The transition tools used seemed to be used for either method and it was jarring as someone just trying to follow along.
But I still did like the movie. It did draw me in, however it still felt rushed. It tried its best in the short time to make us believe that she could really fall in love with this man and consider going to Syria for real, and that is the most disappointing part. He was charismatic, I will give him that.
At this point it is clear that these movies will only be used with macs I guess, due to their tool potential. In these movies a lot of people apparently do face chatting allllll the time. Is this real? I would never imagine doing that with my friends and family. People are quick to call and assume you are free to do it, and that is another awkward thing in this one (and other films). Does anyone do this in real life at all? Help me out here. I could be out of touch. I don’t have a Mac computer.