Serial killer, terrorist or mad man, director Alexandre Moors and actor Isaiah Washington explore the multiple facets of John Allen Muhammad, Lee Boyd Malvo and the D.C. Sniping situation in the film Blue Caprice.
12 years have passed since America faced the harrowing and destructive events of September 11th, 2001. In that time, the nation felt a myriad of emotions, and as paranoia gripped the nation a new element rose from the ashes and struck terror in the hearts of men once again.
This component was the duo of John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, a tandem that cruised around the D.C. metropolitan area in a blue Chevrolet Caprice, and indiscriminately shot a total of 13 victims (10 of them lethally) with a Bushmaster rifle. The film by first-time movie maker, Alexandre Moors, places the audience deep within the pivotal moments that shaped the thinking and "culture of violence" within Muhammad (played by Isaiah Washington) and Malvo (Tequan Richmond).
The two offer the audience an inside-look at the thought process going into the Beltway sniper shootings that took place during three weeks in October 2002 in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. As the story opens amid the lush island vegetation of Antigua in the Caribbean, Lee watches in mute fury as his mother leaves their home to take work elsewhere, leaving behind her son with gnawing doubt. From there on, the two are attached at the hip as the elder Muhammad "fathers" Malvo and places in front of him some crazy "tests" meant to break the young boy's will, spirit and more. Some of Blue Caprice's most powerful scenes take place in utter silence, with the film's main stars often uttering limited words, which comes courtesy of R.F.I. Porto's screenplay. These muted moments (which can go brutal) elicit a response from the audience who gets a chance to see the developing sequences that led the twosome to begin their "fight against the system," and break their own moral codes.
Moors, who was born in Paris but now resides in Brooklyn, presents his first feature film after clocking in major credits directing a slew of high profile music videos, a few short films and some commercials. On the other hand, Mr. Washington's performance is being hailed as a "comeback," after his very public war of words went viral from the set of ABC's Grey's Anatomy. Washington, who since then has chosen his roles very carefully, says that he accepts where life has brought him, and that it has made him a more complete person. Throughout our chat, it was stressed that Blue Caprice is not a biographical account of those horrific events. "It is not a recounting of their lives," Isaiah Washington tells us exclusively. "R.F.I. Porto's script allows us to see their lives while trying to fill in these missing puzzle pieces." There has been no secret that Washington had some reservations about the role,as he said in a previous interview, "I didn't want to do a film about a member of the African American community — my community — who did all these horrific things. It's hard enough being black in America to put that on me," Washington says. "So I had to get past my own issues."
Blue Caprice, which hits theaters today (9/13), is an IFC release which is striking, thrilling and compelling to watch. Our sit down chat with the star and director found us talking about the influence of the culture of violence, Washington's trust in the abilities of his director, and breaks down what audiences can expect in this allegorical film.
Listen to our in-depth chat with the duo below: