Profile, which premiered over three years ago, is a terrifying thriller and is completely told by way of a computer screen.
The film is finally making its way to theaters over three years after the world premiere in Berlin and US premiere at SXSW. Until Focus announced their acquisition, I honestly forgot about the film’s existence. It’s typically never a good sign for a film to take this long between premiere and release. Even in a non-pandemic world, a two-year delay would not be good either. The pandemic means so many theatrical delays and there’s no telling just exactly what happened with this film.
The gist of the film is that a British journalist is posing online as an Islamic woman and recruited by an ISIS terrorist. After a previous piece, freelance journalist Amy Whittaker (Valene Kane) is on deadline to write a follow-up piece on recruitment. In the film, she poses as Islamic convert Melody Nelson and starts developing actual romantic feelings for Abu Bilel (Shazad Latif). For being a journalist seeking to investigate the recruitment of women, this was a plot twist that I didn’t see coming at all. In part, it may just help explain how so many women found themselves being recruited by terrorists. Honestly, the film is just so terrifying and I cannot stress this part enough.
Filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov uses the same Screenlife technology that we saw in Searching. I honestly forgot that he was a producer on the Sundance breakout. Factor in the inevitable comparisons and the film’s delay just might be a good thing.
At its worst, Profile–although terrifying–may be among the more interesting films this year
DIRECTOR: Timur Bekmambetov
SCREENWRITERS: Britt Poulton and Timur Bekmambetov & Olga Kharina
CAST: Valene Kane, Shazad Latif