Profile (2021) movie review
Profile is a drama/thriller based on the true story of an investigative journalist who disguises herself as a young Muslim woman in an attempt to catch Jihadist recruitment techniques on camera. The film was written and directed by Timur Bekmambetov, which the trailer would point out was one of the producers on the 2018 film Searching, as both films are entirely told through screens (with Profile sticking exclusively to a computer screen.) I know T.B. as the man who brought us the Ben-Hur (2016) remake…
In all fairness to Profile, it’s probably the best film opening this weekend by default. I haven’t seen the other handful of critical duds yet, but this does have the highest reviews when you average critics and audiences right now. Don’t worry though! We’ll have a few more coming for you guys this weekend! Not Spiral (2021) though. We don’t care about the Saw series. Anyway let’s talk about Profile!
I’m going to jump right into it here! Profile does not work as a film entirely captures on a laptop. I’m sure it kept the budget low, and it would seem odd to break that style for what would only end up being a fourth of the film. But BOY does that fourth need it! Profile displays consistently messy pacing, confusing time jumps, and underdeveloped relationships between protagonist Amy and those closest to her. Having the main story be captured on Skype while we see scenes of her having these personal relationships would have helped us get to know not only the supporting cast, but Amy as well.
Now a surprise highlight in Profile was the performance from Shazad Latif, the charismatic Islamic recruiter who Amy begins to show affection towards the more she gets to know him. His character was not only the most interesting in the film, but carried me through the poor pacing that lasted the entire second act. The rest of the performances? I could take them or leave them.
But that brings me back to Searching, which does something that Profile doesn’t. It’s tense. Profile has some tense moments sure, and somehow it manages to land on its feet by the very end. But you still spend most of the film with Amy and a character arc that, while somewhat interesting, is nowhere near as compelling as the film was marketed to be.
So if you have a film that fails at what feels like most of the things it sets out to do, do you have a good film? Probably not, no. Now I want to give this film the benefit of hindsight, as it does manage to land on a solid note. And reading about the true story kinds helped sell this story to me. But I just wish we could have gotten to the themes sooner. Profile isn’t terrible, but it’s nothing more than a one-time watch. Should you rush out to see it? Nah, not unless you have nothing else to see. (So this weekend, maybe?) Anyway, 5/10.
So Profile? Did you see it? What did you think? And have you seen Searching? Cause that movie is really good! Heck just watch that this weekend! Anyway like, comment, let us know what we should talk about next, all that good stuff! Thanks for reading!
-review by Ryan Prince