7/10 Much like “Unfriended” and “Searching”, “Profile” takes place entirely from/on a computer or phone screen. While telling a story in this way has been done before, the plot dealing with online recruitment is perfect for this medium. The most fascinating part of “Profile” is that it is based upon a true story. A female journalist, wanting to see how ISIS would recruit European (and sometimes American) women to travel to Syria and other similar countries with ISIS strongholds, creates a fake profile online, poses as a Muslim and aims to infiltrate ISIS and learn all she can. While the real journalist had to go into hiding after what she did so her name has been changed, it shows what a truly brave and courageous woman she was. While this film is based upon her experiences, make sure you take the film with a grain of salt since Hollywood adds in a bit of drama that was fictional for dramatic purposes. The added fictional elements to me were the biggest shortfalls the film had because while it did add suspense, it makes our heroic leading lady into a fool who I found myself often laughing at, instead of in awe of her service in exposing sex trafficking and terrorist activities. The romantic elements had me laughing as I felt like I was watching a romantic comedy for a little bit. That being said, the performances were strong with leading lady Valene Kane pulling off a wide array of emotions and Shazad Latif utterly convincing as the main terrorist trying to recruit her. The film is simultaneously sad and eye opening in revealing just how many young, impressionable women fall for online lies and propaganda to wind up sex trafficked or dead from either murder or choosing to become suicide bombers to end their pain. The film runs almost two hours yet is able to sustain its running time and stay entertaining for its entire duration. Even the blurry, disconnected nature of Skype feels so real since the film takes place in the early 2010s. Most films that use this online only style of film making have been horror films but to see a drama based upon a true story is probably the best use of this format yet. We get to see our protagonist looking up information online in real time as she talks to her ISIS recruiter just as one would be able to. The stakes feel high because to a certain degree, they really are. Despite some of its minor flaws and unintentionally funny moments, “Profile” was a surprisingly strong film that was as entertaining as it was educational and cautionary.

#WomenMustCoverTheirFacebook / #DisplacingAmy / #ChainedMelody / #MustHateDogs / #ThisMeansJihad / #HowToRuseAGuyIn10Days

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