Coming to theatres from writer/director Timur Bekmambetov and Focus Features is a story of danger from the keyboard and a PROFILE.
Amy (Valene Kane) is a British journalist looking for the next story and the next paycheck to cover the rent. She decides to use social media to discover how it is that so many women in Europe are becoming part of the Islamic State. Given the green light by editor Vick (Christine Adams), Amy begins the process of creating a persona online through Facebook.
Almost immediately she is contacted by Abu Bilel Al-Britani (Shazad Latif), a handsome Muslim who is quite taken with her. Lou (Amir Rahimzadeh) guides her through the beginning of their conversations with what is acceptable and what is not. Seeing Amy as a shy respectful woman is appealing to Bilel.
There are only three people that know what Amy is doing, Vick, Lou and friend Kathy (Emma Cater) as boyfriend Matt (Morgan Watkins) has been left in the dark. Each day Amy and Bilel speak more and more about her coming to where Bilel is and starting a life together. He seems slow in the information he gives which puts Amy in a tense situation with her editor.
But with each chat, the conversations become more and more intense that could put her in danger. How far will she push her investigation knowing the consequences?
Kane as Amy is brilliant in her deceptions and performance. Fast on the keyboard which means you can not take your eyes off the screen even for a blinking second, she manuevers her way through dangerous waters. Living this double life does take its toll and as the day comes closer to meet Bilel, Kane gives us a powerful adrenaline rush of fear and anxiety that is so well done.
Latif as Bilel, all I can say is wow, what an amazing performance that is frightening at the same time. What seems so handsome and wonderful is sugar coating on a poison apple. Turning on the charm and being ‘himself’ is a cautionary tale of the internet and people attempting to make connections. Latif gives it everything and that is the good and bad as his intentions begin to unravel. Well done sir, well done.
Adams as Vick is a pure journalist and is biting at the bit for the story. She knows the dangers and sees them coming yet also wants to get the story out before things get out of hand. Cater as Kathy is a good friend and also knows that Amy might be pushing things to far. Watkins as boyfriend Matt, wow, does he get the once over in all this. Relationships are difficult enough without thinking your girlfriend has been internet-cheating.
Focus Features’ mission is to make a lasting impact on global audiences by creating the home for artists to share diverse, distinctive stories that inspire human connection. Focus Features is part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies that brings entertainment and news to a global audience. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.focusfeatures.com.
PROFILE is a fast-paced film not giving the viewer any moment to rest and that is what makes it extremely fascinating. The constant movement on the screen means you have to keep up or step aside. Hearing so many stories in the news about women who tried to get away from situations that the character Amy was getting into is seriously disturbing.
This film wakes you up to the fact that this continues to happen and the result to these women is beyond belief. The biggest question for me is what is it in these women’s lives that bring them to make these decisions at such great risk to themselves and those they love. Every step they take has an effect to those around them and their families.
The last ten minutes of the film are the most powerful (as if the entire film isn’t powerful enough!) because the realization sets how easy the character of Bilel puts the pieces together. Honestly I would have been frozen with anxiety and run for the hills. At the same time I applaud what Amy was trying to do, even though she came close to losing herself in something that was not real.
In the end – the connection is virtual but the danger is real!